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June 15, 2005

Part II

Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health

29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926

Electric Power Generation, Transmission,
and Distribution; Electrical Protective
Equipment; Proposed Rule

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34822 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR these consensus standards and with the Hearing testimony and documentary
corresponding standard for general evidence. Parties who request more than
Occupational Safety and Health industry. Additionally, OSHA is 10 minutes for their presentations at the
Administration proposing new requirements for the safe informal public hearing and parties who
use and care of electrical protective will submit documentary evidence at
29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926 equipment to complement the the hearing must submit the full text of
[Docket No. S–215]
equipment design provisions. their testimony and all documentary
In addition, OSHA is proposing evidence postmarked no later than
RIN 1218–AB67 changes to the two corresponding November 3, 2005.
general industry standards. These ADDRESSES: You may submit written
Electric Power Generation, changes address: Class 00 rubber comments, notices of intention to
Transmission, and Distribution; insulating gloves, electrical protective appear, hearing testimony, and
Electrical Protective Equipment equipment made from materials other documentary evidence—identified by
than rubber, training for electric power docket number (S–215) or RIN number
AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health
generation, transmission, and (1218–AB67)—by any of the following
Administration (OSHA), Labor.
distribution workers, host-contractor methods:
ACTION: Proposed rule. responsibilities, job briefings, fall • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://
SUMMARY: OSHA is proposing to update
protection (including a requirement that www.regulations.gov. Follow the
employees in aerial lifts use harnesses), instructions for submitting comments.
the existing standard for the
construction of electric power
insulation and working position of • OSHA Web site: http://
employees working on or near live dockets.osha.gov/. Follow the
transmission and distribution
parts, protective clothing, minimum instructions for submitting comments
installations and make it consistent with
approach distances, deenergizing on OSHA’s Web page.
the more recently promulgated general
transmission and distribution lines and • Fax: If your written comments are
industry standard addressing the
equipment, protective grounding, 10 pages or fewer, you may fax them to
maintenance and repair of electric
operating mechanical equipment near the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693–
power generation, transmission, and
overhead power lines, and working in 1648.
distribution lines and equipment. The • Regular mail, express delivery,
manholes and vaults. These changes
proposal also makes some would ensure that employers, where hand delivery and courier service:
miscellaneous changes to both appropriate, face consistent Submit three copies to the OSHA
standards, including adding provisions requirements for work performed under Docket Office, Docket No. S–215, U.S.
related to host employers and the construction and general industry Department of Labor, 200 Constitution
contractors, flame resistant clothing, standards and would further protect Avenue, NW., Room N2625,
and training, and updates the employees performing electrical work Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202)
construction standard for electrical covered under the general industry 693–2350. (OSHA’s TTY number is
protective equipment, makes it standards. The proposal would also (877) 889–5627.) OSHA Docket Office
consistent with the corresponding update references to consensus hours of operation are 8:15 a.m. to 4:45
general industry standard, and makes it standards in §§ 1910.137 and 1910.269 p.m., E.S.T.
applicable to construction generally. and would add new appendices to help Instructions: All submissions received
The existing rules for this type of employers comply with provisions on must include the agency name and
work were issued in 1971. They are out protective clothing and the inspection of docket number or Regulatory
of date and are not consistent with the work positioning equipment. Information Number (RIN) for this
more recent, corresponding rules for the OSHA is also proposing to revise the rulemaking. All comments received will
operation and maintenance of electric general industry standard for foot be posted without change to http://
power transmission and distribution protection. This standard has dockets.osha.gov/, including any
systems. The revised standard would substantial application to employers personal information provided. For
include requirements relating to performing work on electric power detailed instructions on submitting
enclosed spaces, working near energized transmission and distribution comments and additional information
parts, grounding for employee installations, but that applies to on the rulemaking process, see the
protection, work on underground and employers in other industries as well. ‘‘Public Participation’’ heading of the
overhead installations, work in The proposal would remove the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of
substations, and other special requirement for employees to wear this document.
conditions and equipment unique to the protective footwear as protection against Docket: For access to the docket to
transmission and distribution of electric electric shock. read comments and background
energy. DATES: Informal public hearing. OSHA documents that can be posted go to
OSHA is also proposing a new will hold an informal public hearing in http://dockets.osha.gov/. Written
standard on electrical protective Washington, DC, beginning December 6, comments received, notices of intention
equipment for the construction 2005. The hearing will commence at 10 to appear, and all other material related
industry. The current standards for the a.m. on the first day, and at 9 a.m. on to the development of this proposed
design of electrical protective the second and subsequent days, which standard will be available for inspection
equipment, which apply only to electric will be scheduled, if necessary. and copying in the public record in the
power transmission and distribution Comments. Comments must be Docket Office, Room N2439, at the
work, adopt several national consensus submitted (postmarked or sent) by address listed previously.
standards by reference. The new October 13, 2005. Hearing. The hearing will be held in
standard would replace the Notices of intention to appear. Parties the auditorium of the U.S. Department
incorporation of these out-of-date who intend to present testimony at the of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue,
consensus standards with a set of informal public hearing must notify NW., Washington, DC.
performance-oriented requirements that OSHA in writing of their intention to do FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
is consistent with the latest revisions of so no later than August 15, 2005. General information and press inquiries:

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules 34823

Mr. Kevin Ropp, Director, Office of IEEE Institute of Electrical and many preventable injuries and fatalities
Communications, Room N3647, OSHA, Electronic Engineers would continue to occur even if full
U.S. Department of Labor, 200 IMIS OSHA’s Integrated Management compliance with the existing standards
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, Information System were achieved. Without counting
DC 20210; telephone (202) 693–1999. IRFA Initial Regulatory Flexibility incidents that would potentially have
Technical information: Mr. David Analysis been prevented with compliance with
Wallis, Director, Office of Engineering NAICS North American Industry existing standards, an estimated
Safety, Room N3609, OSHA, U.S. Classification System additional 116 injuries and 19 fatalities
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution NEPA National Environmental Policy would be prevented through full
Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; Act of 1969 compliance with the proposed
telephone (202) 693–2277 or fax (202) NESC National Electrical Safety Code standards.
693–1663. NFPA National Fire Protection Additional benefits associated with
Hearings: Ms. Veneta Chatmon, Association this rulemaking involve providing
OSHA Office of Communications, NIOSH National Institute for updated, clear, and consistent safety
Occupational Safety and Health Occupational Safety and Health standards regarding electric power
Administration, Room N3647; 200 OIRA Office of Information and generation, transmission, and
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, Regulatory Affairs distribution work. The existing standard
DC 20210, telephone: (202) 693–1999. OMB Office of Management and for the construction of electric power
For additional copies of this Federal Budget transmission and distribution lines and
Register notice, contact OSHA, Office of OSH Act (or simply ‘‘the Act’’) equipment is contained in Subpart V of
Publications, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Act of OSHA’s construction standards (29 CFR
Room N3101, 200 Constitution Avenue, 1970 part 1926). This standard was
NW., Washington, DC, 20210; telephone OSHA Occupational Safety and Health promulgated on November 23, 1972,
(202) 693–1888. Electronic copies of this Administration over 30 years ago (37 FR 24880). Some
Federal Register notice, as well as news OSHRC Occupational Safety and of the technology involved in electric
releases and other relevant documents, Health Review Commission power transmission and distribution
are available at OSHA’s Web page on PRIA Preliminary Regulatory Impact work has changed since then, and the
the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Analysis current standard does not reflect those
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RIN Regulatory information number changes. For example, the method of
SBA Small Business Administration determining minimum approach
Table of Contents SBAR Small Business Advocacy distances has become more exact since
I. Background Review Panel 1972, and the minimum approach
II. Development of Proposal SBREFA Small Business Regulatory distances given in existing
III. Legal Authority Enforcement Fairness Act § 1926.950(c)(1) are not based on the
IV. Summary and Explanation of Proposed SER small entity representative latest methodology. The minimum
Rule SIC Standard Industrial Classification
V. Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis approach distances in this proposal are
and Initial Regulatory Flexibility
WCRI Worker Compensation Research more protective as well as more
Analysis Institute technologically sound. Additionally,
VI. State Plan Standards B. Need for Rule parts of Subpart V need clarification.
VII. Environmental Impact Analysis For example, in existing Subpart V,
VIII. Unfunded Mandates Employees maintaining or there are three different requirements
IX. Federalism constructing electric power relating to the use of mechanical
X. OMB Review under the Paperwork transmission or distribution equipment near overhead lines:
Reduction Act of 1995 installations are not adequately §§ 1926.952(c)(2) 1 and 1926.955(a)(5) 2
XI. Public Participation’Comments and protected by current OSHA standards,
and (a)(6).3 These provisions apply
though these employees face far greater
XII. List of Subjects in 29 CFR Parts 1910 and
electrical hazards than those faced by 1 This requirement reads as follows:
XIII. Authority and Signature other workers. The voltages involved are (2) With the exception of equipment certified for
generally much higher than voltages work on the proper voltage, mechanical equipment
I. Background shall not be operator closer to any energized line
encountered in other types of work, and or equipment than the clearances set forth in
A. Acronyms a large part of electric power § 1926.950(c) unless:
transmission and distribution work (i) An insulated barrier is installed between the
The following acronyms have been exposes employees to energized parts of energized part and the mechanical equipment, or
used throughout this document: the power system. (ii) The mechanical equipment is grounded, or
AED Automated external defibrillator Employees performing work involving (iii) The mechanical equipment is insulated, or
ALJ Administrative law judge electric power generation, transmission, (iv) The mechanical equipment is considered as
ANSI American National Standards energized.
and distribution are exposed to a variety 2 This requirement reads as follows:
Institute of significant hazards, such as fall,
ASTM American Society for Testing (5)(i) When setting, moving, or removing poles
electric shock, and burn hazards, that using cranes, derricks, gin poles, A-frames, or other
and Materials can and do cause serious injury and mechanized equipment near energized lines or
BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics equipment, precautions shall be taken to avoid
CFOI Census of Fatal Occupational death. As detailed below, OSHA
contact with energized lines or equipment, except
Injuries estimates that, on average, 444 serious in bare-hand live-line work, or where barriers or
CPR Cardiopulmonary resuscitation injuries and 74 fatalities occur annually protective devices are used.
EEI Edison Electric Institute among these workers. (ii) Equipment and machinery operating adjacent
Although some of these incidents may to energized lines or equipment shall comply with
EPRI Electric Power Research Institute § 1926.952(c)(2).
FRA Flame-resistant apparel have been prevented with better 3 This requirement reads as follows:
FTE Full-Time Equivalent [Employee] compliance with existing safety (6)(i) Unless using suitable protective equipment
IBEW International Brotherhood of standards, research and analyses for the voltage involved, employees standing on the
Electrical Workers conducted by OSHA have found that Continued

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34824 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules

different requirements to these standards create difficulties for methodological approach used for
operations depending on whether or not employers attempting to develop analyzing these data is included in the
the mechanical equipment involved is appropriate work practices for their final report submitted to OSHA from
lifting equipment and on whether or not employees. For this reason, employers CONSAD. CONSAD’s analysis found
work is being performed on overhead and employees have told OSHA that it that an average of 74 fatalities and 25
lines. Two different United States should make the two standards injuries involving circumstances
Courts of Appeals found these identical. This proposal does so. directly addressed by the existing or
regulations to be confusing even though proposed standards are recorded
C. Accident Data
they accepted OSHA’s interpretation annually in the relevant databases.
regarding their application (Wisconsin OSHA has looked to several sources These accidents include cases involving
Electric Power Co. v. OSHRC, 567 F.2d for information on accidents in the electric shock, burns from electric arcs,
735 (7th Cir. 1977); Pennsylvania Power electric utility industry in preparing this and falls, which are the predominant
& Light Co. v. OSHRC, 737 F.2d 350 (3d proposed rule. Besides OSHA’s own types of accidents occurring in electric
Cir. 1984)). In fact, the majority in the accident investigation files, statistics on power generation, transmission, and
Wisconsin Electric decision noted that injuries are compiled by the Edison distribution work.
‘‘[r]evision of the regulations by any Electric Institute (EEI) and by the
International Brotherhood of Electrical D. Significant Risk
competent draftsman would greatly
improve their clarity’’ (Wisconsin Workers (IBEW). Additionally, the OSHA must show that the hazards the
Electric, 567 F.2d at 738). Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Agency addresses in a safety regulation
Even the newer general industry publishes such accident data as present significant risks to employees.
standards on the operation and incidence rates for total cases, lost OSHA has generally considered an
maintenance of electric power workday cases, and lost workdays. The excess risk of 1 death per 1000
generation, transmission, and National Institute for Occupational employees over a 45-year working
distribution installations (29 CFR Safety and Health (NIOSH) publishes lifetime as clearly representing a
1910.269) and electrical protective accident data as part of its Fatality significant risk. Industrial Union Dept.
equipment (29 CFR 1910.137) are not Assessment and Control Evaluation v. American Petroleum Institute
completely consistent with the latest Program. (Benzene), 448 U.S. 607, 655 (1980);
advances in technology represented by Analyses of accident data for electric International Union v. Pendergrass
updated consensus standards covering power transmission and distribution (Formaldehyde), 878 F.2d 389, 392–93
this type of work and equipment. workers can be found in the following (D.C. Cir. 1989); Building and
OSHA has different standards documents, which (like all exhibits) are Construction Trades Dept., AFL–CIO v.
covering construction work on electric available for inspection and copying in Brock (Asbestos), 838 F.2d 1258, 1264–
power transmission and distribution Docket S–215 in the Docket Office: 65 (D.C. Cir. 1988). As part of the
systems and general industry work on (1) ‘‘Preparation of an Economic regulatory analyses for this standard,
the same systems. In most instances, the Impact Study for the Proposed OSHA OSHA has determined the population at
work practices used by employees to Regulation Covering Electric Power risk, the occupations presenting major
perform construction or general Generation, Transmission, and risks, and the incidence and severity of
industry work on these systems are the Distribution,’’ June 1986, Eastern injuries attributable to the failure to
same. The application of OSHA’s Research Group, Section 4. follow the rules established in the
construction or general industry (2) ‘‘Assessment of the Benefits of the proposed standard. In keeping with the
standards to a particular job depends Proposed Standard on Electric Power purpose of safety standards to prevent
upon whether the employer is altering Generation, Transmission, and accidental injury and death, OSHA has
the system (construction work) or Distribution Coding Results and estimated the number of accidents that
maintaining the system (general Analysis,’’ October 5, 1990, Eastern would be prevented by the new rule.
industry work). For example, employers Research Group. Electricity has long been recognized
changing a cutout (disconnect switch) (3) ‘‘Analytical Support and Data as a serious workplace hazard exposing
on a transmission and distribution Gathering for a Preliminary Economic employees to dangers such as electric
system would be performing Analysis for Proposed Standards for shock, electrocution, electric arcs, fires,
construction work if they were Work on Electric Power Generation, and explosions. The other hazards this
upgrading the cutout, but general Transmission, and Distribution Lines rule addresses, namely, falls and being
industry work if they were simply and Equipment (29 CFR 1910.269 and struck by, struck against, or caught
replacing the cutout with the same 29 CFR 1926—Subpart V),’’ 2005, between objects, are also widely
model. CONSAD Research Corp., Chapter 4. recognized. The 227,683 employees
Since the work practices used by the To develop estimates of the potential performing work covered by the
employees would most likely be benefits associated with this proposal, proposed standards experience an
identical, the applicable OSHA CONSAD Corp., under contract to average of 444 injuries and 74 fatalities
standards should be identical. OSHA’s OSHA, researched and reviewed each year.4 Over a 45-year working
existing requirements are not, however. potential sources of useful data. lifetime, more than 14 of every 1000 of
Conceivably, for work involving two or CONSAD, in consultation with the these employees 5 will die from hazards
more cutouts, different and conflicting Agency, determined that the most
4 For a detailed explanation of the number of
OSHA standards might apply. The reliable data sources for this purpose
employees covered by the proposal and the number
inconsistencies between the two included OSHA’s Integrated of injuries and fatalities experienced by these
Management Information System, and workers, see Section V, Preliminary Regulatory
ground shall avoid contacting equipment or the Census of Fatal Occupational Impact Analysis and Initial Regulatory Flexibility
machinery working adjacent to energized lines or Injuries developed by the BLS. Analysis, later in this preamble.
equipment. From these sources, CONSAD 5 The number of fatalities expected to occur in 45

(ii) Lifting equipment shall be bonded to an years is 74 fatalities × 45, or 3330. Thus, 14.6
effective ground or it shall be considered energized
identified and analyzed injuries and employees in 1000 covered by the proposal ((3330
and barricaded when utilized near energized fatalities that would be addressed by fatalities/227,683 employees) × 1000) will die from
equipment or lines. this proposal. A description of the job-related hazards.

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posed by their work. As detailed in generic lockout and tagging standard. these standards have been adopted by
Section V, Preliminary Regulatory Although this standard does not apply ANSI. Among these IEEE standards are:
Impact Analysis and Initial Regulatory to electric power generation, IEEE Std. 516, IEEE Guide for
Flexibility Analysis, later in this transmission, or distribution Maintenance Methods on Energized
preamble, the Agency estimates that the installations, it formed the basis of Power-Lines, and IEEE Std. 1048, IEEE
proposed rule will prevent 116 injuries § 1910.269(d), which does apply to the Guide for Protective Grounding of
and 19 deaths each year. Accordingly, lockout and tagging of these Power Lines.
OSHA has preliminarily determined installations. Subpart S of the General A list of consensus standards relating
that hazards faced by employees Industry Standards and Subpart K of the to electric power generation,
performing construction or maintenance construction standards set requirements transmission, and distribution work can
work on electric power generation, for unqualified 6 workers who are be found in existing Appendix E to
transmission, and distribution working near electric power generation, § 1910.269. OSHA considered the latest
installations pose a significant risk of transmission, and distribution lines and editions of all the standards listed in
injury or death to those employees, and equipment. this section of the preamble or the
that this proposed rule would Appendix in the development of the
B. Relevant consensus standards proposal.
substantially reduce that risk and would
be reasonably necessary to provide The National Electrical Safety Code C. Advisory Committee on Construction
protection from these hazards. (American National Standards Institute Safety and Health
Standard ANSI C2, also known as the
II. Development of Proposal NESC) was also taken into consideration Section 107 of the Contract Work
A. Present OSHA Standards in the development this proposal. This Hours and Safety Standards Act and the
national consensus standard contains Agency’s own rulemaking regulations in
OSHA adopted standards applying to 29 CFR Part 1911 require OSHA to
requirements specifically addressing
the construction of power transmission consult with the Advisory Committee
electric power generation, transmission,
and distribution lines and equipment in on Construction Safety and Health
and distribution work. The latest
1972 (Subpart V of Part 1926). OSHA (ACCSH or the Committee) in setting
version of ANSI C2 7 is much more up-
defines the term ‘‘construction work’’ in standards for construction work.
to-date than Subpart V. However, ANSI
§ 1910.12 as ‘‘work for construction, Specifically, § 1911.10(a) requires the
C2 is primarily directed to the
alteration, and/or repair, including Assistant Secretary to (1) provide
prevention of electric shock, although it
painting and decorating.’’ The term ACCSH with the draft proposed rule
does contain a few requirements for the
‘‘construction’’ is broadly defined in along with pertinent factual
prevention of falls.
§ 1910.12(d) and § 1926.950(a)(1) to information, (2) and to prescribe a
The American Society for Testing and
include alteration, conversion, and period within which the Committee
Materials (ASTM) has adopted
improvement of electric power must submit its recommendations on
standards related to electric power
transmission lines and equipment, as the proposal.
generation, transmission, and
well as the original installation of the OSHA has a 10-year history of
distribution work. ASTM Committee
lines and equipment. However, Subpart consulting with ACCSH on the
F18 on Electrical Protective Equipment
V does not apply to the operation or proposed construction standards for
for Workers has developed standards on
maintenance of transmission or electrical protective equipment and
rubber insulating equipment, climbing
distribution installations. electric transmission and distribution
equipment, protective grounding
On January 31, 1994, OSHA adopted work. The Agency has provided several
equipment, fiberglass rod and tube used
rules for the operation and maintenance drafts of the proposed construction rules
in live-line tools, and clothing for
of electric power generation, and updates on the status of the
workers exposed to electric arcs.
transmission, and distribution lines and proposal.
The National Fire Protection
equipment, § 1910.269. This standard On May 25, 1995, OSHA first took a
Association (NFPA) has adopted a
was intended as a companion standard draft of the proposed construction
standard on electrical safety for
to Subpart V of the construction standards to ACCSH, providing the
employees, NFPA 70E–2004, Electrical
standards to address areas where Committee with a draft of the proposal
Safety Requirements for Employee
Subpart V did not apply. The new and with a statement on the need for
Workplaces. Although it does not apply
standard was also based on the latest and background behind the proposal.
to electric power generation,
technology and national consensus The Committee formed a workgroup to
transmission, or distribution
standards. review the document and report back to
installations, this standard contains
OSHA revised its electrical protective ACCSH. The workgroup provided
requirements for unqualified employees
equipment standard in § 1910.137 at the comments to OSHA. Although the
working near such installations.
same time § 1910.269 was issued. The Agency gave a status report on the
The Institute of Electrical and
revision of § 1910.137 eliminated the proposal to the Committee on August 8,
Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is also
incorporation by reference of national 1995, ACCSH did not make any formal
responsible for writing standards for
consensus standards relating to rubber recommendations to OSHA at that time.
electric power generation, transmission,
insulating equipment and replaced it The Agency provided a later draft of
and distribution installations and for
with performance-oriented rules for the the proposal to ACCSH on December 10,
work on those installations. Many of
design, manufacture, and safe care and 1999. This time, the Committee made no
use of electrical protective equipment. 6 In this preamble, ‘‘unqualified worker’’ (or
comments. On February 13, 2003,
Other OSHA standards also relate to ‘‘unqualified employee’’) means an employee who OSHA gave ACCSH a status report on
electric power generation, transmission, does not have the requisite training to work on or the proposal and summarized the major
and distribution work. The permit- near electric power generation, transmission, or revisions in the draft.
required confined space standard in distribution installations. For more information, see On May 22, 2003, OSHA provided the
the discussion of proposed § 1926.950(b) in Section
§ 1910.146 applies to entry into certain IV, Summary and Explanation of Proposed Rule, Committee with the same copy of the
confined spaces found in this type of later in this preamble. draft proposal that had been provided to
work. Section 1910.147 is OSHA’s 7 ANSI/IEEE C2–2002. the small entity representatives who

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were participating in the Small Business • In the event the standard is differences between the proposed rule
Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness preceded by a consensus standard, it is and existing standards. References in
Act (SBREFA) proceedings, which were better able to effectuate the purposes of parentheses are to exhibits in the
being conducted at that time. OSHA the OSH Act than the standard it rulemaking record. References prefixed
also explained the major issues being supersedes. by ‘‘269’’ are to exhibits and transcripts
raised by the small entity International Union, UAW v. OSHA in the rulemaking record from OSHA’s
representatives on the draft proposal. (LOTO II), 37 F.3d 665, 668 (D.C. Cir. earlier rulemaking on § 1910.137 and
On May 18, 2004, ACCSH gave formal 1994). § 1910.269. These documents are
recommendations on OSHA’s proposal. OSHA has generally considered an available for inspection and copying in
OSHA sought ACCSH’s excess risk of 1 death per 1000 the Docket Office under Docket S–015.
recommendations on the proposal employees over a 45-year working (The transcripts are listed in the docket
generally, as well as on issues lifetime as clearly representing a as ‘‘exhibits’’ 100–X through 208–X.)
specifically related to host employer- significant risk (see Industrial Union
OSHA is proposing a new
contractor communications and flame- Dept. v. American Petroleum Institute
construction standard on electrical
resistant clothing. ACCSH voted (Benzene), 448 U.S. 607, 655 (1980);
International Union v. Pendergrass protective equipment, 29 CFR 1926.97,
unanimously that: (1) The construction and a revision of the standard on the
standards for electric power (Formaldehyde), 878 F.2d 389, 392–93
(D.C. Cir. 1989); Building and construction of electric power
transmission and distribution work transmission and distribution lines and
should be the same as the general Construction Trades Dept., AFL-CIO v.
Brock (Asbestos), 838 F.2d 1258, 1264– equipment, 29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart
industry standards for the same type of V. The Agency is also proposing
work; (2) requiring some safety-related 65 (D.C. Cir. 1988)).
A standard is considered changes to the general industry
communications between host counterparts to these two construction
technologically feasible if the protective
employers and contractors was standards, 29 CFR 1910.137 and
measures it requires already exist, can
necessary; and (3) employees need to be 1910.269, respectively. The proposed
be brought into existence with available
protected from hazards posed by electric construction standards may contain
technology, or can be created with
arcs through the use of flame-resistant some nonsubstantive differences from
technology that can reasonably be
clothing. ACCSH also recommended their existing counterpart general
expected to be developed (see American
unanimously that OSHA issue its industry requirements that are not
Iron and Steel Institute v. OSHA (Lead
proposal, consistent with these specific separately included in the proposed
II), 939 F.2d 975, 980 (D.C. Cir. 1991)).
votes. A standard is economically feasible revision of the general industry
III. Legal Authority when industry can absorb or pass on the standards. However, the Agency intends
costs of compliance without threatening for the corresponding construction and
The purpose of the Occupational general industry requirements to be the
the industry’s long-term profitability or
Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act same in the final rule except to the
competitive structure (see American
or the Act), 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq., is ‘‘to extent that separate requirements are
Textile Mfrs. Institute v. OSHA (Cotton
assure so far as possible every working supported by the rulemaking record. For
Dust), 452 U.S. 490, 530 n. 55 (1981);
man and woman in the Nation safe and example, the definition of ‘‘designated
Lead II, 939 F.2d at 980). A standard is
healthful working conditions and to employee’’ in existing § 1910.269(x)
cost effective if the protective measures
preserve our human resources.’’ 29 reads as follows:
it requires are the least costly of the
U.S.C. 651(b). To achieve this goal,
available alternatives that achieve the An employee (or person) who is designated
Congress authorized the Secretary of
same level of protection (see LOTO II, by the employer to perform specific duties
Labor to promulgate and enforce under the terms of this section and who is
37 F.3d at 668).
occupational safety and health All OSHA standards must be highly knowledgeable in the construction and
standards. 29 U.S.C. 655(b) and 658. protective (LOTO II, 37 F.3d at 669) and, operation of the equipment and the hazards
A safety or health standard ‘‘requires where practical, ‘‘expressed in terms of involved.
conditions, or the adoption or use of one objective criteria and of the performance
or more practices, means, methods, OSHA is proposing a slightly revised
desired.’’ 29 U.S.C. 655(b)(5). Finally, version of this definition in § 1926.968,
operations, or processes, reasonably the OSH Act requires that when
necessary or appropriate to provide safe as follows:
promulgating a rule that differs
or healthful employment and places of substantially from a national consensus An employee (or person) who is assigned
employment.’’ 29 U.S.C. 652(8). A by the employer to perform specific duties
standard, OSHA must explain why the under the terms of this section and who has
standard is reasonably necessary or promulgated rule is a better method for
appropriate within the meaning of sufficient knowledge of the construction and
effectuating the purpose of the Act. 29 operation of the equipment and the hazards
Section 652(8) if: U.S.C. 655(b)(8). As discussed involved to perform his or her duties safely.
• A significant risk of material harm elsewhere in this preamble, OSHA is
exists in the workplace and the using several consensus standards as the The Agency does not believe that the
proposed standard would substantially basis for its proposed rule. The proposed definition for Subpart V is
reduce or eliminate that workplace risk; deviations from these consensus substantially different from the existing
• It is technologically and standards are explained in Section IV, definition in § 1910.269(x). Therefore,
economically feasible; Summary and Explanation of Proposed OSHA is not specifically including the
• It employs the most cost effective Rule, later in this preamble. proposed change to the definition of
protective measures; ‘‘designated employee’’ in the proposed
• It is consistent with prior Agency IV. Summary and Explanation of changes to § 1910.269. The language in
action or supported by a reasoned Proposed Rule the final standards (that is,
justification for departing from prior This section discusses the important §§ 1910.269(x) and 1926.968) will be the
Agency action; elements of the proposed standard, same, however, unless the record
• It is supported by substantial explains the purpose of the individual warrants a separate definition for
evidence; and requirements, and explains any construction work.

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In addition, the proposal references detailed specifications for the standards several times since they were
national consensus standards in notes manufacture, testing, and design of adopted in the former OSHA regulation.
following various requirements. These electrical protective equipment. Because of the continual process by
references are intended to provide Additionally, these standards are which ASTM periodically revises its
employers and employees with revised frequently, making existing standards, any specific editions that
additional useful sources of information § 1926.951(a)(1) over a quarter century OSHA might adopt would likely be
that can assist them in complying with out of date. For example, the most outdated within a few years.
the standards. OSHA intends to review recent ANSI standard listed in the Additionally, since the rulemaking
the latest editions of these consensus former OSHA requirement is dated process is lengthy, a complete revision
standards and reference those editions 1971. The most recent ASTM version of OSHA’s electrical protective
when promulgating the final rule available is a 2002 edition of equipment requirements every three
provided they still provide suitable specifications on rubber insulating years or so to keep pace with the
guidance. gloves. The complete list of current changes in the consensus standards is
ASTM standards corresponding to the not practical. (In fact, some of the ASTM
A. Electrical Protective Equipment, ANSI standards is as follows: standards will likely be revised again
Section 1926.97 ASTM D120–02a, Specification for during the rulemaking period.) To
Electrical protective equipment is in Rubber Insulating Gloves. remedy this problem, OSHA is
constant use during electric power ASTM D178–01e1, Specification for proposing new § 1926.97 to make the
transmission and distribution work; Rubber Insulating Matting. standards flexible enough to
and, appropriately, existing Subpart V ASTM D1048–99, Specification for accommodate changes in technology,
contains provisions related to this Rubber Insulating Blankets. obviating the need for constant revision.
equipment. The existing OSHA ASTM D1049–98e1 (Reapproved Where possible, the proposed standard
standards for electrical protective 2002), Specification for Rubber has been written in performance terms
equipment in construction work are Insulating Covers. in order to allow alternative methods of
contained in § 1926.951(a)(1), which ASTM D1050–90 (Reapproved 1999),
compliance if they provide comparable
only applies during construction of Specification for Rubber Insulating Line
safety to the employee.
electric power transmission and Hose.
ASTM D1051–02, Specification for Another difficulty with incorporation
distribution lines and equipment. of the ASTM standards by reference is
Electrical protective equipment, Rubber Insulating Sleeves.
Additionally, ASTM has adopted that they contain details that go beyond
however, is used throughout the the purposes of the OSHA standard or
construction industry. OSHA therefore standards on the in-service care of
insulating line hose and covers (ASTM that are not directly related to employee
believes that updated personal safety. In proposed § 1926.97, OSHA has
protective equipment provisions should F478–92 (Reapproved 1999)), insulating
blankets (ASTM F479–95 (Reapproved tried to carry forward only provisions
apply throughout the construction that are relevant to employee safety in
industry, wherever such equipment is 2001)), and insulating gloves and
sleeves (ASTM F496–02a), which have the workplace. Furthermore, OSHA has
necessary for employee safety, and that attempted to simplify those provisions
electrical protective equipment no current counterparts in existing
§ 1926.951(a)(1). to make the requirements easier for
provisions should not be limited to the employers and employees to use and
In an attempt to retain the quality of
use of this equipment in electric power understand. Because the revision places
protection afforded by the ASTM
transmission and distribution work. all relevant requirements in the text of
standards, OSHA has developed
Therefore, OSHA is proposing new the regulations, employers would no
proposed new § 1926.97 which has been
§ 1926.97, Electrical protective longer have to refer to the ASTM
derived from the ASTM documents but
equipment, to replace § 1926.951(a)(1), documents to determine their
which has been written in performance
which incorporates by reference the obligations under OSHA.
terms. OSHA recognizes the importance
following six American National In striving for this degree of
of the ASTM standards in defining basic
Standards Institute (ANSI) standards: simplification, the Agency has tried to
requirements for the safe design and
manufacture of electrical protective use an approach that will accept new
ANSI methods of protection that may appear
Item equipment for employees. Proposed
§ 1926.97 would increase the protection in future editions of the ASTM
Rubber insulating gloves ............ J6.6–1971 presently afforded to power standards. OSHA recognizes that such
Rubber matting for use around J6.7–1935 transmission and distribution future editions of these standards might
electric apparatus. (R1971) employees by the outdated ANSI/ASTM contain technological advances
Rubber insulating blankets ......... J6.4–1971 providing significant improvement in
Rubber insulating hoods ............. J6.2–1950
standards incorporated by reference in
the existing standard. The proposal employee safety, which might not be
(R1971) permitted under proposed § 1926.97.
Rubber insulating line hose ........ J6.1–1950 carries forward ASTM provisions that
(R1971) are performance oriented and necessary However, due to the performance-
Rubber insulating sleeves .......... J6.5–1971 for employee safety, but does not oriented nature of the OSHA standard as
contain many of the detailed compared to the ASTM standards,
These ANSI standards were originally specifications in those consensus conflicts between the two standards in
developed and adopted as American standards. The proposal will thus areas affecting employee safety are
Society for Testing and Materials provide greater flexibility for expected to be infrequent.
(ASTM) standards. (In fact, the latest compliance with these provisions to the Furthermore, an employer who
revisions of these standards use the extent that worker safety warrants. follows future versions of ASTM
ASTM designations, rather than using There are several reasons why standards would likely be covered by
separate designations for both adopting the ASTM standards in toto OSHA’s de minimis policy as set forth
standards-writing organizations.) As is would be inappropriate in this in OSHA Instruction CPL 02–00–103
typical of national consensus standards, rulemaking. First, ASTM has revised (Field Inspection Reference Manual).
the ASTM standards are filled with each of the currently referenced Under that policy, a de minimis

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34828 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules

condition 8 exists: (1) Where an ensure that no marking interferes with to the ASTM standards for guidance in
employer’s workplace has been updated the protection to be provided by the determining the testing procedure.
in accordance with new technology or equipment. Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(i)(B) would
equipment as a result of revisions to the Paragraph (a)(1)(iv) would require require the proof-test voltage to be
latest consensus publications from markings on gloves to be provided only applied for 1 minute for insulating
which OSHA standards were derived, in the cuff area. Markings in other areas matting and for 3 minutes for other
(2) where the updated versions result in could possibly wear off. Moreover, insulating equipment. These times are
a ‘‘state of the art’’ workplace, having the markings in one place will based on the proof-test times given in
technically advanced beyond the allow the employee to determine the the ASTM design standards and are
requirements of the applicable OSHA class and type of glove quickly. appropriate for testing the design
standard, and (3) where equal or greater Furthermore, OSHA would require in capabilities of electrical protective
safety and health protection is provided. paragraph (c)(2)(vii) that rubber gloves equipment.
Paragraph (a). Paragraph (a) of normally be worn under protector Proposed paragraph (a)(2)(i)(C) would
§ 1926.97 addresses the design and gloves. Because a protector glove is require rubber insulating gloves to be
manufacture of insulating blankets, almost always shorter than the capable of withstanding the a-c proof-
matting, covers, line hose, gloves, and corresponding rubber glove with which test voltage indicated in Table E–1 of
sleeves made of rubber (either natural or it is worn and because the cuff of the the standard after a 16-hour water soak.
synthetic). See the summary and protector glove can easily be pulled If rubber insulating gloves absorb water,
explanation of proposed § 1926.97(b) for back without removal, it is easy to see a reduction in insulating properties will
general requirements on other types of markings on the cuff portion of the result. Water absorption is thus a critical
insulating equipment. rubber glove beneath. Any marking property because exposure to
Under proposed paragraph (a)(1)(i), provided on the rubber glove in an area perspiration or rain is quite common
blankets, gloves, and sleeves would outside of the cuff could not be seen while line worker’s gloves are in use.
have to be manufactured without seams. with the protector glove in place. Electrical work is sometimes performed
This method of making the protective Under the national consensus in the rain, and an employee’s
equipment minimizes the chance that standards, electrical protective perspiration is often present while the
the material will split. Because they are equipment must be capable of passing gloves are in use. The soak test is
used when workers handle energized certain electrical tests. In proposed needed to ensure that electrical
lines, gloves and sleeves are the only § 1926.97(a)(2), OSHA incorporates protective equipment can withstand the
defense an employee has against electric these requirements. The tests specified voltage involved under these
shock. Additionally, blankets, gloves, in the ASTM standards are very conditions.
and sleeves need to be seamless because detailed. This is not the case in the When an a-c proof test is used on
the stresses placed on the equipment by OSHA standard. Through the use of gloves, the resulting proof-test current
the flexing of the rubber during normal performance language, the proposed gives an indication of the validity of the
use could cause a seam to separate. The rule would establish the same level of gloves’ make-up, the dielectric constant
other three types of electrical protective protection without a lengthy discussion of the type of material used, its
equipment (covers, line hose, and of test procedures. thickness, and the total area under test.
matting) generally provide a more Paragraph (a)(2)(i) would require Paragraph (a)(2)(ii) prohibits the a-c
indirect form of protection—they electrical protective equipment to be proof-test current from exceeding the
insulate the live parts from accidental, capable of withstanding the a-c proof- current allowed in Table E–1. The
rather than intended, contact—and they test voltages in Table E–1 or the d-c currents listed in the table have been
are not usually subject to similar proof-test voltages in Table E–2 of the taken from ASTM D120–02a.
amounts or types of flexing. standard (depending, of course, on Under paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A), the
Proposed paragraph (a)(1)(ii) would whether an a-c proof test or an maximum current for a-c voltages at
require electrical protective equipment equivalent d-c proof test is performed). frequencies other than 60 hertz would
to be marked to indicate its class and The proof-test voltages listed in these be computed from the direct ratio of the
type. The class marking indicates the tables have been taken from the current frequencies.
voltage with which the equipment can ASTM standards, which also contain Gloves are filled with and immersed
be used; the type marking indicates details of the test procedures used to in water during the a-c proof test, and
whether or not the equipment is ozone determine whether electrical protective the water inside and outside the glove
resistant. This will enable employees to equipment is capable of withstanding forms the electrodes. The a-c proof-test
know the uses and voltages for which these voltages. These details have not current is dependent on the length of
the equipment is suited. Proposed been included in the proposed rule. the portion of the glove that is out of
paragraph (a)(1)(ii) would also permit Paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) replaces them water. Because the proof-test current is
equipment to contain other relevant with a performance-oriented a function of immersion depth, it is
markings, such as one indicating the requirement that whatever test is used important to specify the depth in the
manufacturer’s name or compliance must reliably indicate that the rule. Otherwise, employee safety could
with ASTM standards. equipment can withstand the proof-test be compromised. Therefore, paragraph
Paragraph (a)(1)(iii) would require all voltage involved. To meet the (a)(2)(ii)(B) in the proposed standard
markings to be nonconductive and to be requirements of the OSHA performance specifies that gloves to be tested must be
applied so that the properties of the standard, employers would normally get filled with and immersed in water to the
equipment are not impaired. This would the assurance of the manufacturer that depth given in Table E–3 in the
the equipment is capable of standard. This table was taken directly
8 OSHA considers a de minimis condition to be
withstanding the appropriate proof-test
a technical violation of a standard only. However,
because the employer is considered to be in voltage.9 Manufacturers typically look standard. Thus, an employer could simply look for
substantial compliance with the standard, the equipment labeled as meeting these standards.
Agency issues no citations or penalties, nor is the 9 As explained in the note at the end of paragraph Manufacturers attest, through this label, that their
employer required to bring his or her workplace (a), OSHA deems equipment meeting the ASTM equipment is capable of passing all the required
into compliance with the older standard. standards as being compliant with the OSHA tests, including the a-c or d-c proof tests.

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from ASTM D120 and is valid for the protective equipment made of ozone- paragraphs (a)(3)(ii)(B) and (c)(2)(ix))
proof-test currents listed in Table E–1. resistant material is frequently used. To contain the latest revisions of these
The allowable proof-test current must ensure that ozone-resistant material standards. The Agency has reviewed
be increased for proof-tests on gloves will, in fact, be resistant to the damaging these documents and has found them to
after a 16-hour water soak because the effects of the gas, paragraph (a)(2)(iv) provide suitable guidance for
gloves absorb a small amount of water, requires this type of material (Type II) compliance with § 1926.97(a).11 It
which results in slightly increased to be capable of withstanding an ozone should be noted that the listed
current during the test. ASTM D120 test that can reliably indicate that the consensus standards are the only ones
allows an increase in the proof-test material will resist ozone exposure in with official recognition within the
current of 2 milliamperes. If the proof- actual use. As noted earlier, body of the standard. Future consensus
test current increases more than that, it standardized ozone tests are given in the standards are not automatically given
would indicate that the gloves absorbed ASTM specifications. The proposed rule the same recognition but will have to be
too much water. OSHA has proposed to also lists signs of failure of the test, such reviewed by OSHA to determine
allow a similar increase in proof-test as checking,10 cracking, breaks, and whether they provide sufficient
current in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(C). pitting. protection.
Since the relatively high voltages used Paragraph (a)(3) applies to the Paragraph (b). Paragraph (b) of the
in testing electrical protective workmanship and finish of electrical proposed § 1926.97 addresses electrical
equipment for minimum breakdown protective equipment. Because physical protective equipment other than the
voltage can actually damage the irregularities can interfere with the rubber insulating equipment addressed
insulating material under test (even if it insulating properties of the equipment, in paragraph (a). Equipment falling
passes), proposed paragraph (a)(2)(iii) paragraph (a)(3)(i) prohibits the under this paragraph includes plastic
would prohibit protective equipment presence of harmful defects that can be guard equipment, insulating barriers,
that has been subjected to such a test detected by the tests or inspections and other protective equipment
from being used to protect employees required under § 1926.97. However, intended to provide electrical protection
from electrical hazards. The intent of some minor irregularities are nearly to employees. Some of the equipment
the proposal is to prohibit the use of unavoidable in the manufacture of addressed in paragraph (b) is covered
equipment that has been tested under rubber goods, and these imperfections under a national consensus standard.
conditions equivalent to those in the may be present in the insulating For example, insulating plastic guard
ASTM standards for minimum materials without significantly affecting equipment is covered by ASTM F968,
breakdown voltage tests. the insulation. Paragraph (a)(3)(ii) lists Specification for Electrically Insulating
A note at the end of proposed the types of imperfections that are Plastic Guard Equipment for Protection
§ 1926.97(a) indicates that all the tests permitted. Even with these of Workers. Other types of protective
given in the paragraph are described in imperfections, electrical protective equipment are not covered by consensus
the listed ASTM standards, as follows: equipment is still required to be capable specification.
These [ASTM] standards contain of passing the electrical tests specified Paragraph (b)(1) would require
specifications for conducting the various in paragraph (a)(2). electrical protective equipment to be
tests required in paragraph (a) of this section. Since paragraph (a) of § 1926.97 is capable of withstanding any voltage that
For example, the a-c and d-c proof tests, the written in performance-oriented might be imposed on it. The voltage
breakdown test, the water soak procedure, language, OSHA believes that it is includes transient overvoltages as well
and the ozone test mentioned in this important for employees, employers, as the nominal voltage that is present on
paragraph are described in detail in the and manufacturers to have some an energized part of an electric circuit.
ASTM standards.
guidance in terms of what is acceptable Equipment withstands a voltage if it
This does not mean that OSHA is under the proposed standard. OSHA maintains its integrity without flashover
adopting the ASTM standards by also realizes that the current ASTM or arc through. This paragraph would
reference. In enforcing proposed specifications on electrical protective protect employees from failure of
§ 1926.97, the Agency would accept any equipment are accepted by employers electrical protective equipment.
test that meets the requirements of the and employees in the industry as Equipment conforming to a national
OSHA standard. However, the proposal providing safety to employees and that consensus standard for that type of
states explicitly that the ASTM tests existing electrical protective equipment equipment will generally be considered
listed in the note are acceptable; and, if is normally made to these as complying with this rule if that
the ASTM specifications are met, an specifications. Furthermore, the standard contains proof testing
employer has assurance that he or she proposal is based on the provisions of requirements for the voltage involved.
is complying with proposed § 1926.97. these national consensus standards, For types of equipment not addressed
If an employer uses other test methods, although the requirements are stated in by any consensus standard, OSHA is
the Agency would determine, on a case- performance terms. OSHA has therefore considering accepting electrical
by-case basis, whether or not they meet included a footnote at the end of protective equipment that is capable of
the OSHA standard. paragraph (a) stating that rubber passing a test equivalent to that
Around high-voltage lines and insulating equipment meeting the described in ASTM F712, Standard Test
equipment, a luminous discharge, called requirements of the listed ASTM Methods for Electrically Insulating
electric corona, can occur due to standards for this equipment are Plastic Guard Equipment for Protection
ionization of the surrounding air caused considered as conforming to the
by a voltage gradient which exceeds a requirements contained in § 1926.97(a). 11 OSHA has also reviewed earlier versions of

certain critical value. The blue corona The lists of ASTM standards in the these ASTM standards and found them to afford
protection equal to that of the OSHA standard.
discharge is accompanied by a hissing proposed rule (in the notes following Thus, the Agency will accept electrical protective
noise and by ozone, which can cause equipment meeting earlier versions of the
damage to certain types of rubber 10 ASTM F819–00 e1, Standard Terminology consensus standards provided the equipment meets
insulating materials. Therefore, when Relating to Electrical Protective Equipment for the edition of the standard that was in effect at the
Workers, defines ‘‘ozone cutting and checking’’ as: time of manufacture and provided the employer has
there is a chance that ozone may be ‘‘cracks produced by ozone in a material under followed the use and care provisions set out in
produced at a work location, electrical mechanical stress.’’ proposed § 1926.97(c).

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of Workers. Guidance for performing passing those tests should be acceptable standard. However, comments are
dielectric tests of electrical protective under the OSHA standard. invited on the need to set specific
equipment is also given in IEEE Std. The electrical test criteria set in electrical performance values in the
516, IEEE Guide for Maintenance ASTM F968 are summarized in Table OSHA rule and on whether Table IV–1
Methods on Energized Power-Lines. IV–1 and Table IV–2. The Agency and Table IV–2 could be applied to all
OSHA invites comments on whether believes that the performance criteria types of electrical protective equipment
these standards contain suitable test proposed in paragraph (b)(1) minimize that would be covered by proposed
methods and whether equipment the necessity of setting or specifically § 1926.97(b).
including similar criteria in the OSHA
Proof test withstand voltage (in service testing)
Rating use
Class kV j-g
kV j-j kV j-g Duration Criteria
(60 Hz) min.
60 Hz D–C

2 ................ 14.6 8.4 13 18 1.00 No flashover other than momentary as a result of

3 ................ 26.4 15.3 24 34 1.00 too-close spacing of electrode.
4 ................ 36.6 21.1 32 45 1.00
5 ................ 48.3 27.0 42 60 0.50
6 ................ 72.5 41.8 64 91 0.25


Maximum Minimum flashover test kV j-
Rating use g
Class Criteria
kV j-j kV j-g
(60 Hz) 60 Hz D–C

2 ................ 14.6 8.4 14 20 No flashover other than momentary as a result of too-close spac-
3 ................ 26.4 15.3 25 35 ing of electrode.
4 ................ 36.6 21.1 34 48
5 ................ 48.3 27.0 43 61
6 ................ 72.5 41.8 67 95

Proposed paragraph (b)(2) addresses Capacitive current caused by the makes clear that paragraph (b)(2) applies
the properties of insulating equipment dielectric properties of the equipment to equipment for primary insulation; it
that limit the amount of current seen by being tested, (2) conduction current is not intended to apply to equipment
an employee. Paragraph (b)(2)(i) would through the equipment, and (3) leakage used for secondary insulation or used
require electrical protective equipment current passing along the surface of the for brush contact only.
used as the primary insulation of equipment. The conduction current is Paragraph (c). Although existing
employees from energized parts to be negligible for materials typically used in § 1926.951(a)(1) does not contain
capable of passing a test for current (that insulating equipment, and the leakage provisions for the care and use of
is, a proof test) when subjected to the current should be small for clean, dry insulating equipment, OSHA believes
highest nominal voltage on which the insulating equipment. The capacitive provisions of this type can contribute
equipment is to be used. Paragraph component usually predominates when greatly to employee safety. Electrical
(b)(2)(ii) would limit the current insulating equipment in good condition protective equipment is, in large part,
encountered during the test to 1 is tested. The second note to paragraph manufactured in accordance with the
microampere per kilovolt of applied (b)(2) summarizes this information. latest ASTM standards. This would
voltage. This requirement is intended to probably be the case even in the absence
The tests required under proposed of OSHA regulation. However, improper
prevent the use of poor insulating paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) would
materials or good insulating materials use and care of this equipment can
normally be performed by the easily reduce, or even eliminate, the
that are contaminated with conductive manufacturer initially during the design
substances (for example, fiberglass- protection afforded by this equipment.
process and periodically during the Therefore, OSHA is proposing new
reinforced plastic coated with a manufacturing process. However, some requirements on the in-service care and
conductive finish), which could lead to employers might want to use equipment use of electrical protective equipment to
electric shocks to employees using the that is made of insulating materials but the design standards already contained
equipment. The limit for current has that is not intended by the manufacturer in existing § 1926.951(a)(1). These new
been taken from IEEE Std. 516, and to be used as insulation. For example, provisions will help ensure that these
OSHA believes such a limit is a barrier made of rigid plastic may be safety products retain their insulating
reasonable and appropriate. The Agency intended for use as a general purpose properties.
invites comments, however, on whether barrier. An employer could test the Proposed paragraph (c)(1) would
another value would better protect barrier under proposed paragraphs (b)(1) require electrical protective equipment
employees. and (b)(2). If the equipment passed the to be maintained in a safe and reliable
When equipment is tested with ac tests, it would be acceptable for use as condition. This general, performance-
voltage, the current measured during the insulating electrical protective oriented requirement, which would
test consists of three components: (1) equipment. Note 1 to paragraph (b)(2) apply to all equipment addressed by

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new § 1926.97, helps ensure that than the proof-test voltages given in ensure the safe use of electrical
employees are fully protected from Table E–1 and Table E–2. protective equipment.
electric shock. Table E–4 contains the following note: Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii) would
Detailed criteria for the use and care The maximum use voltage is the a-c require insulating equipment to be
of specific types of electrical protective voltage (rms) classification of the protective visually inspected before use each day
equipment are contained in the equipment that designates the maximum and immediately after any incident
following ASTM standards: nominal design voltage of the energized which might be suspected of causing
ASTM F 478–92, Specification for In- system that may be safely worked. The damage. In this way, obvious defects
nominal design voltage is equal to the phase- can be detected before an accident
Service Care of Insulating Line Hose and to-phase voltage on multiphase circuits.
Covers. occurs. Possible damage-causing
However, the phase-to-ground potential is
ASTM F 479–95, Specification for In- considered to be the nominal design voltage:
incidents would include exposure to
Service Care of Insulating Blankets. (1) If there is no multiphase exposure in a corona and exposure to possible direct
ASTM F 496–02a, Specification for system area and if the voltage exposure is physical damage. Additionally, rubber
In-Service Care of Insulating Gloves and limited to the phase-to-ground potential, or gloves would be required to be
Sleeves. (2) If the electrical equipment and devices subjected to an air test along with the
are insulated or isolated or both so that the inspection. In the field, this test usually
OSHA based the requirements multiphase exposure on a grounded wye
proposed in paragraph (c)(2) on these consists of rolling the cuff towards the
circuit is removed. palm so that air is entrapped within the
In the general case, electrical glove. In a testing facility, a mechanical
Paragraph (c)(2) applies only to rubber
protective equipment must be rated for inflater may be used. In either case,
insulating blankets, covers, line hose,
the full phase-to-phase voltage of the punctures and cuts can easily be
gloves, and sleeves. These are the only
lines or equipment on which work is detected. The note following paragraph
types of electrical protective equipment
being performed. This ensures that (c)(2)(ii) indicates that ASTM F 1236–
addressed by consensus standards on
employees are protected against the 96, Standard Guide for Visual
the care and use of such equipment.
most severe possible exposure, that is, Inspection of Electrical Protective
Rubber insulating matting, which is
contact between one phase conductor Rubber Products, contains (1)
addressed by the material design
and another. However, if the employee information on how to inspect rubber
specifications in paragraph (a), is not
is only exposed to phase-to-ground insulating equipment and (2)
covered by any ASTM standard on its
voltage, then the electrical protective descriptions and photographs of
in-service care or by § 1910.137(c)(2).
equipment selected can be based on this potential irregularities in the
This type of equipment is generally
lower voltage level (nominally, the equipment.
permanently installed to provide
phase-to-phase voltage divided by √3 ). During use, electrical protective
supplementary protection against equipment may become damaged and
For example, a three-phase, solidly
electric shock. Employees stand on the lose some of its insulating value.
grounded, Y-connected overhead
matting, and they are insulated from Paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of proposed
distribution system could be run as
ground, which protects them from § 1926.97 lists types of damage that
three phase conductors with a neutral or
phase-to-ground electric shock. would cause the insulating value to
as three single-phase circuits with one
However, because this type of drop. The equipment may not be used
phase conductor and a neutral each. If
equipment is normally left in place after if any of these defects are present.
only one phase conductor is present on
it is installed and because it is not relied Defects other than those listed in
a pole, there is no multiphase exposure.
on for primary protection from electric paragraph (c)(2)(iii) may develop during
If all three phase conductors are present,
shock (the primary protection is use of the equipment and could also
the multiphase exposure can be
provided by other insulating equipment affect the insulating and mechanical
removed by insulating two of the phases
or by insulating tools), it is not tested on properties of the equipment. If such
or by isolating 12 two of the phases.
a periodic basis and is not subject to the defects are found, proposed paragraph
After the insulation is in place or while
careful inspection before use that other (c)(2)(iv) would require the equipment
the employee is isolated from the other
insulating equipment is required to to be removed from service and tested
two phase conductors, there is no
receive. It should be noted, however, in accordance with other requirements
multiphase exposure, and electrical
that rubber insulating matting is in paragraph (c)(2). The results of the
protective equipment rated for the
required to be maintained in a safe, tests determine if it is safe to return the
phase-to-ground voltage could be used.
reliable condition under paragraph items to service.
(It should be noted that, until the
(c)(1). Foreign substances on the surface of
multiphase exposure has actually been
Although the rubber insulating rubber insulating equipment can
removed, the phase-to-phase voltage
equipment addressed in § 1926.97(a) is degrade the material and lead to damage
remains the maximum use voltage.
currently designed to be capable of to the insulation. Paragraph (c)(2)(v)
Thus, the maximum use voltage of any
withstanding voltages of up to 40 would require the equipment to be
insulation used to ‘‘remove phase-to-
kilovolts, such equipment is actually cleaned as needed to remove any foreign
phase exposure’’ must be greater than or
intended to be used at lower voltages substances.
equal to the phase-to-phase voltage on
(see, for example, ASTM F 496 on the Over time, certain environmental
the system.) OSHA requests comments
care and use of rubber insulating gloves conditions can also cause deterioration
on how employees can be insulated or
and sleeves). The use of insulating of rubber insulating equipment.
isolated from multiphase exposure to
equipment at voltages less than its Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(vi) would
actual breakdown voltage provides a 12 Depending on the configuration of the system, require insulating equipment to be
margin of safety for the employee. In an employee could be isolated from two of the stored so that it is protected from
paragraph (c)(2)(i) and Table E–4, the phases on the pole by approaching one of the injurious conditions and substances,
proposal has adopted the margins of outside phase conductors and working on it from such as light, temperature extremes,
a position where there is no possibility of coming
safety recognized in the ASTM too close to the other two phase conductors.
excessive humidity, and ozone. This
standards, restricting the use of Isolation of the employee may be impossible for requirement helps the equipment retain
insulating equipment to voltages lower some line configurations. its insulating properties as it ages.

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OSHA does not consider carrying the exception does not apply when the equipment is not returned to service.
equipment on trucks for the use of possibility of damage is significant, such Paragraph (c)(2)(x) would prohibit
employees during the course of work to as when an employee is using a knife to electrical protective equipment that
be storage. However, the Agency does trim insulation from a conductor or failed the required inspections and tests
not believe that it is safe to store the when an employee has to handle from being used by employees, unless
equipment on trucks for extended moving parts, such as conductors being the defects can be safely eliminated.
periods between use if such storage pulled into place. To ensure that no loss Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(x) also lists
would expose the equipment to of insulation has occurred, paragraph acceptable means of eliminating defects
extremes of temperature or humidity. It (c)(2)(vii)(C) would require any gloves and rendering the equipment fit for use.
may be necessary, under some used under this exception to be tested Sometimes defective portions of rubber
circumstances, to store equipment before being used again. line hose and blankets can be removed.
indoors during prolonged periods when Paragraph (c)(2)(viii), Table E–4, and The result would be a smaller blanket or
employees would not be using it. Table E–5 would require insulating a shorter length of line hose. Under the
Workers are dependent upon electrical equipment to be tested periodically to proposal, rubber insulating blankets
protective equipment for their safety, verify that electrical protective may only be salvaged by severing the
and all reasonable means of protecting equipment retains its insulating defective portions of the blanket if the
it from unnecessary damage must be properties over time. Table E–4 lists the resulting undamaged area is at least 560
employed. retest voltages that are required for the mm by 560 mm (22 inches by 22 inches)
Rubber insulating gloves are various classes of protective equipment, for Class 1, 2, 3, and 4 blankets. (Smaller
particularly sensitive to physical and Table E–5 presents the testing sizes cannot be reliably tested using
damage during use. Through handling intervals for the different types of standard test methods.) Obviously,
conductors and other electrical equipment. These test voltages and gloves and sleeves cannot be repaired in
equipment, an employee can damage intervals were taken from the relevant this manner; however, there are
the gloves and lose the protection they ASTM standards. methods of patching them if the defects
provide. For example, a sharp point on Paragraph (c)(2)(ix) proposes a are minor. Rubber blankets can also be
the end of a conductor could puncture performance-oriented requirement that patched. The patched area must have
the rubber. To protect against damage, the method used for the periodic tests electrical and physical properties equal
protector gloves (made of leather) are give a reliable indication of whether or to those of the material being repaired.
worn over the rubber gloves. Proposed not the electrical protective equipment To minimize the possibility that a patch
paragraph (c)(2)(vii) recognizes the extra can withstand the voltages involved. As will loosen or fail, the proposal would
protection afforded by leather gloves this is a performance-oriented standard, not permit repairs to gloves outside the
and would require their use over rubber OSHA does not spell out detailed gauntlet area (the area between the wrist
gloves, except under limited conditions. procedures for the required tests, which and the reinforced edge of the opening).
Protector gloves would not be vary depending on the type of OSHA stresses that the proposal would
required with Class 0 or Class 00 gloves equipment being tested. On the other not permit repairs in the working area
if high finger dexterity is needed for hand, OSHA believes that it is of the glove, where the constant flexing
small parts manipulation. The important for employees, employers, of the rubber during the course of work
maximum voltage on which Class 0 and and testing laboratories to have some could loosen an ill-formed patch.
Class 00 gloves can be used is 1,000 guidance in terms of what is acceptable Once the insulating equipment has
volts and 500 volts, respectively. At under the proposed standard. Therefore, been repaired, it must be retested to
these voltages, an employee is protected following paragraph (c)(2)(ix), OSHA ensure that any patches are effective and
against electric shock as long as a live has included a note stating that that there are no other defects present.
part does not puncture the rubber and electrical test methods given in the Such retests would be required under
contact the employee’s hand. The type various ASTM standards on rubber paragraph (c)(2)(xi).
of small parts encountered in work on insulating equipment meet the proposed Employers, employees, and OSHA
energized circuits, such as small nuts performance requirement. The Agency compliance staff must have a method of
and washers, are not likely to do this. believes that referencing acceptable test determining whether or not the tests
While the exception is necessary to methods within the standard will required under proposed paragraphs
allow work to be performed on small benefit employees, employers, and (c)(2)(viii) and (c)(2)(xi) have been
energized parts, extra care is needed in testing laboratories. As noted earlier, performed. Paragraph (c)(2)(xii) would
the visual examination of the glove and this does not mean that OSHA is require this to be accomplished by
in the avoidance of handling sharp adopting the ASTM standards by means of certification by the employer
objects. (A note to this effect is included reference. In enforcing that equipment has been tested in
in the proposal.) § 1926.97(c)(2)(ix), the Agency would accordance with the standard. The
The other exception to the accept any test that meets the certification is required to identify the
requirement for protector gloves is requirements of the OSHA standard. equipment that passed the test and the
granted if the employer can demonstrate However, the proposal states explicitly date it was tested. Typical means of
that the possibility for damage is low that the listed ASTM tests would be meeting this requirement include logs
and if gloves at least one class higher acceptable; and, if the ASTM and stamping test dates on the
than required for the voltage are used. specifications are met, an employer has equipment. A note following paragraph
For example, if a Class 2 glove is used assurance that he or she would be (c)(2)(xii) explains that these means of
at 7500 volts or less (the maximum use complying with § 1926.97(c)(2)(ix). If an certification are acceptable.
voltage for Class 1 equipment), if high employer uses other test methods, the
dexterity is needed, and if the Agency will determine, on a case-by- B. Electric Power Transmission and
possibility of damage is low, then case basis, whether or not they meet the Distribution, Subpart V
protector gloves need not be used. In Federal standard. OSHA is proposing to revise Subpart
this case, the additional thickness of Once the equipment has undergone V of its construction standards. This
insulation provides a measure of the in-service inspections and tests, it is subpart contains requirements for the
additional physical protection. This important to ensure that any failed prevention of injuries to employees

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performing construction work on inspected before each shift. This Paragraph (b) of § 1926.950 addresses
electric power transmission and provision would not supersede existing training for employees. Subpart V
distribution installations. §§ 1926.500(a)(5) and (a)(6), which currently contains no general provisions
The proposed revision of Subpart V is detail specific requirements for the related to training employees in the
based primarily on the general industry inspection of cranes. Also, in a change safety precautions necessary to perform
standard § 1910.269, Electric power that OSHA considers nonsubstantive, electric power transmission and
generation, transmission, and § 1910.269(a)(1)(iii) will be amended to distribution work. It is widely
distribution, which was promulgated in include language equivalent to that of recognized that electric-utility-type
January 1994, rather than on existing the new provision at § 1926.950(a)(2).13 work requires special knowledge and
Subpart V, which was promulgated in In contrast to § 1910.269, Subpart V skills. Additionally, both existing
1972. As noted earlier in this preamble, does not apply to work on electric Subpart V and the proposed revision of
the existing Subpart V is technologically power generation installations or to the Subpart V contain many safety-related
out of date and contains provisions that installations themselves. The work practice requirements that are
are poorly written. OSHA believes that construction of an electric power necessary for the protection of
basing the revision of Subpart V on the generation station normally poses employees. In order to gain the requisite
more recently promulgated § 1910.269 hazards more akin to those of general knowledge and skills to employ these
will produce a standard that will be construction rather than those found in work practices, employees must be
easier for employees and employers to the operation and maintenance of the adequately trained. Therefore, in the
understand and will better protect generation plant. The only exceptions proposed revision of Subpart V, OSHA
employees than a revision based on the would be during the final phase of has included training requirements
existing construction standard. construction of a generating station, based on those in § 1910.269.
when electrical and other acceptance Paragraph (b)(1) contains training
Section 1926.950, General
testing of the installation is being requirements applying to all employees
Section 1926.950, General, proposes performed, and during ‘‘reconstruction’’ performing work covered by Subpart V.
the scope of revised Subpart V and phases, when other portions of the Paragraph (b)(1)(i) would require
proposes general requirements for generating station would still be in employees to be trained in the safety-
training and the determination of operation. During these two operations, related work practices, safety
existing conditions. the work being performed resembles procedures, and other personnel safety
Paragraph (a)(1) of proposed general industry work, and the requirements in the standard that
§ 1926.950 sets the scope of revised appropriate work practices to follow are pertain to their respective job
Subpart V. OSHA intends the revision contained in the general industry assignments. This training is necessary
of Subpart V to apply to the same types standard § 1910.269. Therefore, rather to ensure that employees use the safety-
of work covered under the existing than repeat the relevant portions of related work practices outlined in
standard. Therefore, paragraph (a)(1) has § 1910.269 in Subpart V, OSHA has proposed Subpart V.
been taken directly from existing simply stated in § 1926.950(a)(3) that Under paragraph (b)(1)(ii), employees
§ 1926.950(a) and (a)(1). As proposed, such work shall comply with would also be required to be trained in
Subpart V would apply to the § 1910.269. The Agency requests and familiar with any other safety
construction of electric power comments on whether § 1910.269 practices necessary for their safety,
transmission and distribution should apply to all work involving including applicable emergency
installations. For the purposes of the electric power generation installations, procedures. The proposed rule would
proposal and the existing standard, as proposed, or whether the relevant require employees to be trained in safe
‘‘construction’’ includes the erection of requirements from § 1910.269 should be work techniques that relate to his or her
new electric transmission and contained in Subpart V. job. Additionally, if more than one set
distribution lines and equipment, and Similarly, line-clearance tree of work practices could be used to
the alteration, conversion, and trimming is not normally performed as accomplish a task safely, the employee
improvement of existing electric part of the construction of electric would need to be trained in only those
transmission and distribution lines and power transmission or distribution work methods he or she is to use. For
equipment. installations. One exception occurs example, an insulator on a power line
Paragraph (a)(2) of proposed when trees are trimmed along an could be replaced through the use of
§ 1926.950 explains the application of existing overhead power line to provide live-line tools, through the use of rubber
the subpart with respect to the rest of clearance for a new transmission or insulating equipment, or by
Part 1926. The proposed provision reads distribution line being constructed. deenergizing the line. The employee
as follows: ‘‘This subpart applies in Even here, however, this work is not would only have to be trained in the
addition to all other applicable construction-like in nature. Therefore, method actually used to replace that
standards contained in this Part 1926. OSHA is also applying § 1910.269 to insulator.
Employers covered under this subpart line-clearance tree-trimming operations, The proposal cannot specify
are not exempt from complying with regardless of whether the work is requirements for every hazard the
other applicable provisions in Part 1926 considered to be construction work. The employee faces in performing electric
by the operation of § 1910.5(c) of this Agency also requests comments on power transmission or distribution
chapter. Specific references in this whether § 1910.269 should apply to all work. Employers must fill in this gap by
subpart to other sections of Part 1926 work involving line-clearance tree training their employees in hazards that
are provided for emphasis only.’’ All trimming, as proposed, or whether the are anticipated during the course of jobs
other construction industry standards relevant requirements from § 1910.269 they are expected to perform. The
would continue to apply to installations should be contained in Subpart V. language of proposed
covered by the revised standard unless § 1926.950(b)(1)(ii) imparts OSHA’s
an exception is given in Subpart V. For 13 Paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of § 1910.269 presently
intent that safety training be provided in
example, § 1926.959(a)(2) would require states: ‘‘This section applies in addition to all other areas that are not directly addressed by
applicable standards contained in this part 1910.
the critical components of mechanical Specific references in this section to other sections the standard but that are related to the
elevating and rotating equipment to be of part 1910 are provided for emphasis only.’’ employee’s job.

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Under paragraph (b)(1)(iii), the who had been appropriately trained for the them in a safe manner. OSHA believes
training provided to an employee would exposure that he subsequently came in that this requirement will significantly
have to be commensurate with the risk contact with and just was not following what improve safety for electric power
the training and the company policy had
he or she faces. This provision is not involved. [269–DC Tr. 47–48]
transmission and distribution workers.
contained in either existing Subpart V Under paragraph (b)(5), the proposal
or § 1910.269. This proposed Continual reinforcement of this initial would require classroom or on-the-job
requirement, which has been taken from guidance must be provided to ensure training or a combination of both. This
§ 1910.332(c), is intended to ensure that that the employee actually uses the allows employers to continue the types
an appropriate level of training is procedures he or she has been taught. of training programs that are currently
provided. Employees who face little risk This reinforcement can take the form of in existence. (See the discussion of Note
in their job tasks need less training than supervision, safety meetings, pre-job 2 to paragraph (b)(7) for an explanation
those whose jobs expose them to the briefings or conferences, and retraining. of how employers may treat previous
most danger. OSHA believes that this Typically, adequate supervision can training.)
provision will ensure that employers detect unsafe work practices with An employee who has attended a
direct their training resources where respect to tasks that are routine and are single training class on a procedure that
they will provide the greatest benefit. At performed on a daily or regular basis. is as complex as the lockout and tagging
the same time, all employees will However, if an employee has to use a procedure used in an electric generating
receive adequate training to protect technique that is applied infrequently or plant has generally not been fully
them against the hazards they face in that is based on new technology, some trained in that procedure. Unless a
their jobs. OSHA notes, however, for follow-up is needed to ensure that the training program establishes an
employees who are currently provided employee is actually aware of the employee’s proficiency in safe work
the training required by existing correct procedure for accomplishing the practices and unless that employee then
§ 1910.269, this training will be task. A detailed job briefing, as required demonstrates his or her ability to
considered sufficient for compliance under proposed § 1926.952(d)(2), may perform those work practices, there will
with proposed paragraph (b)(1)(iii). be adequate if the employee has be no assurance that safe work practices
Proposed paragraph (b)(1)(iii) does not previously received some instruction, will result. To address this problem, the
require employers to make changes to but training would be necessary if the Agency is proposing paragraph (b)(6),
their training programs; rather it employee has never been schooled in which reads as follows:
provides employers with options to the techniques to be used.
For these reasons, OSHA has The training shall establish employee
tailor their training programs and proficiency in the work practices required by
resources to employees with supplemented the basic training this section and shall introduce the
particularly high-risk jobs. requirements proposed in procedures necessary for compliance with
Paragraph (b)(2) of proposed § 1926.950(b)(1) and (b)(2) with two this section.
§ 1926.950 contains additional additional requirements: (1) a
requirement for regular supervision The inclusion of paragraph (b)(6) and
requirements for the training of
(that is, supervision that takes place on the demonstration of proficiency
qualified employees. Because qualified
a periodic basis throughout the year) requirement contained in paragraph
employees are allowed to work very
and an annual inspection by the (b)(7), discussed later in this preamble,
close to electric power lines and
employer to determine whether or not are intended to ensure that employers
equipment and because they face a high
each employee is complying with the do not try to comply with § 1926.950(b)
risk of electrocution, it is important that
safety-related work practices required by simply handing training manuals to
they be specially trained. OSHA
by Subpart V and (2) a requirement for their employees. These provisions will
believes that qualified employees need
additional training whenever require employers to take steps to assure
to be extensively trained for them to
• The regular supervision or annual that employees comprehend what they
perform their work safely. Towards this
inspection indicates that the employee have been taught and that they are
end, the proposal would require that
is not following the safety-related work capable of performing the work
these employees be trained in
practices required by the standard, practices mandated by the standard.
distinguishing live parts from other
• New technology, new types of OSHA believes that these two
parts of electric equipment, in
equipment, or changes in procedures paragraphs will maximize the benefits
determining nominal voltages of lines
necessitate the use of safety-related of the training required under the
and equipment, in the minimum
work practices that are different from standard.
approach distances set forth in the
those that the employee would normally The employer would be required, by
proposal, in the techniques involved in
use, or paragraph (b)(7), to determine that each
working on or near live parts, and in the
knowledge necessary to recognize • The employee must use safety- employee has demonstrated proficiency
related work practices that are not in the work practices involved. Until the
electrical hazards and the techniques to
normally used during his or her regular employer makes this determination, the
avoid these hazards.
OSHA believes that there is a need for job duties. employee would not be considered as
all employees to be trained on a These two provisions are contained in being trained. Employers relying on
continuing basis. Initial instruction in paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4). training provided by others are expected
safe techniques for performing specific The proposal includes a note to take steps to verify that the employee
job tasks is not sufficient to ensure that indicating that the Agency considers has indeed received it. For example, an
employees will use safe work practices tasks performed less often than once per employer could call a previous
all of the time. At OSHA’s hearing on year to require retraining before the task employer or training facility or could
§ 1910.269, Dr. Heinz Ahlers of NIOSH is actually performed. Instruction check a union employee’s journeyman
spoke about the effect of training on provided in pre-job briefings is lineman credentials. Alternatively, an
accidents, as follows: acceptable if it is detailed enough to employer could test the employee’s
fully inform the employee of the knowledge of safe work practices. After
* * * I think in a majority of those procedures involved in the job and to these steps have been taken, the
instances, the fatality involved the worker ensure that he or she can accomplish employer could then, based on visual

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observation of the employee, determine adequate for the work practices the employee to demonstrate proficiency in
that that employee has been trained in employee will be performing. It is the work practices involved before he or
accordance with the standard and has possible, for example, that an employee she is considered as having been trained
demonstrated proficiency in the work who has received training through an satisfactorily. Therefore, as described
practices involved. A note following apprenticeship program was not trained earlier, the proposal includes this as a
this paragraph explains that employee in the specific grounding practices used requirement. Comments are requested
training records, which are maintained by his or her current employer. The on whether or not the existing
by many employers but which are not employer must determine where the certification requirement in existing
required by the standard, are one way of gaps in the employee’s training are and § 1910.269(a)(2)(vii) is necessary and on
tracking when an employee has provide supplemental training to cover whether or not the proposed alternative
demonstrated proficiency. OSHA them. Otherwise, employees may follow will better protect employees.
requests comments on whether the different practices that endanger not
The work covered by Subpart V is
standard should require employers to only themselves but their coworkers as
frequently done by an employer
record employee training. well. For example, a previously trained
Note 2 to paragraph (b)(7) describes working under contract to an electric
employee may have been instructed to
how an employer may treat training that utility. Traditionally, electric utilities 14
wear rubber gloves and sleeves, but his
the employee has received previously have had a workforce that was sufficient
or her current employer’s practices
(for example, through previous require only rubber gloves but with the for the day-to-day maintenance of the
employment). If an employer can extra insulation on conductors as electric power generation, transmission,
demonstrate that an employee has required by proposed § 1926.960(c)(2). and distribution system. Electric
already been trained, the employer does This employee will be unlikely to install utilities would hire contractors when
not have to duplicate previous all the necessary insulation, increasing the work to be performed went beyond
instruction provided that the employer: the risk to the employee and his or her routine maintenance. Thus, contractors
(1) Confirms that the employee has the coworkers. typically would perform the following
job experience appropriate to the work Existing § 1910.269(a)(2)(vii) requires types of work: new transmission and
to be performed, (2) through an employers to certify that employees distribution line construction, extensive
examination or interview, makes an have received the training required transmission and distribution line
initial determination that the employee under that section. The certification renovation (such as the replacement of
is proficient in the relevant safety- must be made when the employee a large number of utility poles or the
related work practices before he or she demonstrates proficiency in the work upgrading of the line to a higher
performs any work covered by this practices involved. To reduce voltage), line-clearance tree trimming,
subpart, and (3) supervises the unnecessary paperwork burdens placed generation plant overhauls, and repair
employee closely until that employee on employers, OSHA is proposing to of extensive storm damage.
has demonstrated proficiency in all the eliminate the requirement to certify Contractors performing electric power
work practices he or she will employ. training. The Agency believes that generation, transmission, and
OSHA believes that it is unnecessary to compliance with the training distribution work experience a
require employers to duplicate training requirements can be determined disproportionate share of fatal accidents
the employee has received in the past. through employee interviews; thus, the in comparison to electric utilities. Table
However, the Agency believes that it is certification requirement is IV–3 presents the number of fatalities
important for the employer to take steps unnecessary. OSHA does believe, experienced by electric utilities and
to ensure that the previous training was however, that it is essential for the their major electrical contractors.


SIC Industry Year Number

783 .................................... Line-clearance tree-trimming contractors ................................................................ 1991 4

1992 7
1993 9
1994 4
1995 2
1996 6
1997 4
1998 5

Total ........................... ................................................................................................................................... ........................ 41

1623 .................................. Power Line Contractors ........................................................................................... 1991 15

1992 12
1993 20
1994 21
1995 15
1996 11
1997 11
1998 12

Total ........................... ................................................................................................................................... ........................ 117

1731 .................................. Electrical Contractors ............................................................................................... 1991 5

14 For the purposes of the discussion of utility’’ to include any employer who hires a power generation, transmission, or distribution
§ 1926.950(c), OSHA is using the term ‘‘electric contractor to work on that employer’s electric facility.

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SIC Industry Year Number

1992 6
1993 13
1994 9
1995 9
1996 6
1997 8
1998 9

Total ........................... ................................................................................................................................... ........................ 65

4911 .................................. Electric Utilities ......................................................................................................... 1991 33

1992 34
1993 28
1994 23
1995 36
1996 23
1997 20
1998 27

Total ........................... ................................................................................................................................... ........................ 224

4931 .................................. Combination Utilities (e.g., Electric and Gas Utilities) ............................................. 1991 2
1992 7
1993 1
1994 1
1995 1
1996 2
1997 2
1998 1

Total ................................................................................................................................... ........................ 17

Grand total .......... ................................................................................................................................... ........................ 464

Source: OSHA accident inspection data for the years 1991 through 1998.


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Figure 1 shows the percentages of half of the fatalities involving Using employment data for 1997 from
fatalities for the two groups. These contractors. Section V, Preliminary Regulatory
figures demonstrate that, while the The number of fatalities for the two Impact Analysis and Initial Regulatory
overall number of fatalities has not industry groups does not tell the full Flexibility Analysis, later in this
changed significantly, the proportion of story. To determine the relative risk preamble, the Agency has calculated
fatal accidents has shifted from electric faced by employees, OSHA must look at fatality rates for electric utilities and
utilities to their contractors, with nearly fatality rates, which represent the their major contractors, as shown in
number of deaths per 1000 employees. Table IV–4.
Electric utilities Electrical contractors Line-clearance tree trimmers

Year 124408 Employees 1 43472 Employees 2 35020 Employees 3

Number of fatalities Fatality rate Number of fatalities Fatality rate Number of fatalities Fatality rate

1991 ......... 35 0.28 20 0.46 4 0.11

1992 ......... 41 0.33 18 0.41 7 0.20
1993 ......... 29 0.23 33 0.76 9 0.26
1994 ......... 24 0.19 30 0.69 4 0.11
1995 ......... 37 0.30 24 0.55 2 0.06
1996 ......... 25 0.20 17 0.39 6 0.17
1997 ......... 22 0.18 19 0.44 4 0.11
1998 ......... 28 0.23 21 0.48 5 0.14

Total 241 0.24 182 0.52 41 0.15

1 Source: ‘‘Analytical Support and Data Gathering for a Preliminary Economic Analysis for Proposed Standards for Work on Electric Power
Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Lines and Equipment (29 CFR 1910.269 and 29 CFR 1926—Subpart V),’’ 2005, CONSAD Research
Corp. (CONSAD), full-time equivalent employment for NAICS 221110, electric power generation, NAICS 221120, electric power transmission,
control, and distribution, and NAICS 2211, publicly owned utilities, combined.
2 Source: CONSAD, full-time equivalent employment for NAICS 234910, water, sewer, and pipeline construction, NAICS 234920, power and
communication transmission line construction, and NAICS 235310, electrical contractors, combined.
3 Source: CONSAD, full-time equivalent employment for SIC 0783, ornamental shrub and tree services.

As can be seen from this table, the the actual equipment they will be electric shock hazards. Employees
fatality rates for contractors are more working on. For example, an employee exposed to such hazards need to be
than double the comparable rate for might be trained in the climbing of highly trained and skilled. If an electric
electric utilities. concrete poles. Climbing these utility hires a contractor who uses
OSHA believes that, for the protection structures typically involves the unqualified employees on those lines
of all employees performing electric attachment of temporary ladders into and equipment, the hazards posed by
power generation,15 transmission, and fittings on the concrete poles. An the utility’s facilities will almost
distribution work, it is essential that employee with the general type of certainly lead to injuries. If the contract
electric utilities hire contractors who training in climbing electric power employees are working on a power line
have employees with the skills, transmission structures that contract with the understanding that it is
knowledge, training, tools, and employees typically receive might not deenergized and if the contract
protective equipment necessary to be aware of the specific attachment and employees do not fully understand the
perform this work safely. The safety of locking means used by the concrete electric utility’s procedures for
electric utility employees as well as the poles and structures owned by the deenergizing lines and equipment, then
safety of contractor employees depends electric utility that hires the contractor. those employees could mistakenly
on this. Without this knowledge, the employee believe that a line is deenergized when
It is clear that the safety of contract could attach the temporary ladder it is not, with possibly fatal results.
employees is dependent on their skills, incorrectly or fail to lock it in place Inadequate maintenance of an electric
knowledge, training, tools, and properly with possibly fatal results. utility’s facilities can also lead to
protective equipment. The requirements In addition, several provisions in the unexpected hazards for contract
of § 1926.950(b) generally ensure that all standard would require the employer to
employees have the requisite skills and assess certain hazards covered by the
standard. For example, § 1926.960(g) The safety of electric utility
training. Other requirements in the
would require employers to assess employees is also affected by the
standard, including §§ 1926.954,
hazards associated with electric arcs. contract employer’s work. For example,
1926.957, and 1926.960, address tools
Contract employers need to have a contractor’s work could cause an
and protective equipment. However,
sufficient information about the overhead energized line to fall on a
these other provisions do not adequately
electrical system so that they can deenergized line on which an electric
address the employees’ knowledge of
perform these hazard assessments. utility employee is working, creating
15 Although Subpart V applies only to the The facilities owned by an electric hazards for the electric utility employee.
construction of transmission and distribution utility pose hazards to employees of Additionally, a contract employee who
installations, the same requirements on the duties contractors working on those facilities. is not familiar with the utility’s
of host and contract employers are being proposed For example, overhead electric power procedures for reenergizing lines and
in § 1910.269, which applies to the maintenance
and operation of electric power generation
transmission and distribution lines and equipment might inadvertently remove
installations in addition to transmission and equipment owned by electric utilities a tag protecting an electric utility
distribution installations. pose serious fall, electrocution, and employee.

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Although electric utility employees employee safety and whether any of the who are not performing any covered
do not typically work with contract provisions in that paragraph could work.
employees, sometimes they do work reasonably be applied to such Sometimes the host employer is aware
together. For example, it is common employers. of hazards that are present at its
practice for contract employees and OSHA is also not proposing to extend facilities of which the contractor might
electric utility employees to work side- the host-contract employer provisions to not be aware. For example, what
by-side during emergency restoration line-clearance tree-trimming contractors appeared to be a static line on one
operations, such as those that follow a for work performed by line-clearance electric utility’s transmission system
big storm. Additionally, contractors in tree trimmers who are not qualified was energized at 4,000 volts. Static lines
electric power generation plants will be employees. Existing are typically grounded. An employee of
working near employees working full § 1910.269(a)(1)(i)(E) lists the a contractor, perhaps not understanding
time in the plant. paragraphs that apply to line-clearance that the line was energized, contacted
It is clear from these examples that tree-trimming, and OSHA is not the static line and was electrocuted.
electric utility employers and contract proposing to add the host-contract Paragraph (c)(1)(i) of proposed
employers must cooperate and employer provisions to that list. As § 1926.950 would address this problem
communicate if all employees noted earlier, the fatality rate for line- by requiring the host employer to
maintaining or constructing electric clearance tree-trimming contractors is inform contract employers of any
power generation, transmission, or lower than the rate for utilities. Thus, it known hazards that the contractor or its
distribution facilities are to be appears that though line-clearance tree- employees might fail to recognize. This
adequately protected. Thus, OSHA is provision should ensure that the
trimming operations are relatively
proposing requirements in § 1926.950 contractor will be able to take measures
hazardous, they are still safer than
for each type of employer to ensure the to protect its employees from hazards
power line construction, repair, and
necessary exchange of information posed by the host employer’s
maintenance. On the other hand, if a
between electric utility and contract workplace. Although this provision
line-clearance tree-trimming operation
employers. The proposed requirements would not require the host employer to
is performed by a qualified employee,
have been taken from similar provisions inform the contract employer of hazards
then the host-contract employer
in the Agency’s standard for Process the contract employees should be
provisions would apply. (See existing
Safety Management, § 1910.119(h). expected to recognize, such as hazards
Paragraph (c)(1) of proposed § 1910.269(a)(1)(i)(E)(1).) As long as they
posed by an overhead power line, the
§ 1926.950 would impose duties on host are using electrical protective proposal would require the host
employers that hire contractors to equipment, these employees are employer to inform the contract
perform work on the host employer’s permitted to come much closer to employer of known hazards the
installations covered by Subpart V. Host energized parts than unqualified contractor might not be aware of. For
employer is defined as ‘‘[a]n employer employees, and the Agency believes that example, if a host employer knows that
who operates and maintains an electric these employees face hazards similar to a particular manhole on its system is
power transmission or distribution contract power line workers.16 OSHA subject to periodic contamination from
installation covered by Subpart V of this requests comments on whether a nearby fuel tank, that information
Part and who hires a contract employer excluding line-clearance tree-trimming must be relayed to the contractor.
to perform work on that installation.’’ contractors from the host-contract Proposed paragraph (c)(1)(i) also
This definition includes electric utilities employer provisions proposed in covers information that a contract
and other employers who operate and § 1926.950(c)(1) unduly jeopardizes employer would need to make any
maintain an electric power transmission employee safety and whether any of the hazard assessments called for under the
or distribution installation. However, it provisions in that paragraph could proposed standard. For example,
does not include an employer who owns reasonably be applied to such proposed § 1926.950(d) would require
but does not operate and maintain such employers. employers to determine existing
installations. The Agency believes that Contract employer is defined as ‘‘[a]n conditions related to the safety of the
host employers who operate and employer who performs work covered work being performed before work is
maintain their electric power by Subpart V of this Part for a host started. Under paragraph (c)(1)(ii), the
transmission and distribution employer.’’ This includes painting host employer would have to provide
installations have expertise in working contractors, line construction any system parameters that the contract
safely on such installations. On the contractors, electrical contractors, and employer would need to satisfy
other hand, some entities may own but any other contractors working on the paragraph (d). These parameters could
not operate or maintain these construction of electric power include such things as the nominal
installations. These entities generally do transmission and distribution lines.17 It circuit voltage, maximum switching
not have the expertise necessary to work does not include contractors who might transient voltages, and the presence of
safely on transmission or distribution be present at a jobsite where some work any utility poles known by the host
lines and equipment and would have performed is covered by Subpart V, but employer to have defects that could
little hazard-related knowledge to pass affect employee safety. This is the type
on to contractors. In addition, the 16 For a full discussion of why existing § 1910.269 of information that could affect the
employees of such entities would have applies different requirements to line-clearance contractor’s choice of work practices or
little if any exposure to hazards created tree-trimming operations depending on whether or could otherwise affect the safety of the
not the operation is performed by a qualified
by a contract employer. Therefore, employee, see the preamble to the final rule on
contractor’s employees. In addition, the
OSHA is proposing to exclude such electric power generation, transmission, and contract employer would otherwise
entities from having to comply with distribution work (January 31, 1994, 59 FR 4336). have difficulty obtaining much of this
proposed § 1926.950(c)(1). The Agency 17 For § 1910.269, this definition also includes
information, if it could be obtained at
invites comments on whether excluding contractors working on an electric power generation all.
installation covered by that section. This would
such employers from the host-contract include boiler maintenance contractors, conveyor
Proposed paragraph (c)(1)(i) would
employer provisions proposed in servicing contractors, electrical contractors, and not require the host employer to survey
§ 1926.950(c)(1) unduly jeopardizes others. the contract work areas for hazards. For

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example, this provision does not require provided by the host employer is do not significantly affect employee
the host employer to inspect utility essential to the safety of employees safety and examples of such work rules.
poles for damage or defects before the performing the work, especially because Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(iii) would
contract employer starts working. The it includes information on hazards that require the contract employer to advise
proposed rule would require instead the contract employees might not the host employer of: unique hazards
that the host employer provide all recognize. The contract employer would posed by the contract employer’s work;
relevant and known information to the also be required, under proposed any unexpected hazards found while
contract employer. This paragraph does § 1926.950(b)(1)(ii), to train employees the contractor’s employees were
not require host employers to acquire in work practices for their safety, as working; and the measures the contract
additional unknown information but related to those hazards. employer took to correct host-employer-
does require host employers to provide Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii) would reported violations and to prevent them
any information that was known by the require the contract employer to ensure from recurring. This provision enables
host employer. that its employees follow the work the host employer to take any necessary
Proposed paragraph (c)(1)(ii) would practices required by the standard and measures to protect its employees from
require the host employer to report the safety-related work rules imposed by hazards of which the host employer
observed contract-employer-related the host employer. This proposed would not otherwise be aware. This will
violations of Subpart V to the contract paragraph: (1) Recognizes that the help protect the host employer’s
employer. OSHA believes that host contract employer has the responsibility employees when they are working near
employers as a matter of course observe for the actions of its employees, and (2) the contractor’s employees (for example,
employees of the contract employer, compels the contract employer to when responding to an emergency) and
from time to time, as they perform work enforce compliance with safety and when the host employer’s employees
under the contract. When the host health rules imposed by the host work on the same equipment after the
employer observes contract employees employer as if they were requirements contract employer departs. It will also
violating this standard, it is important of the standard. The latter is particularly provide essential feedback to the host
for the host employer to inform the important. If the host employer has employer on the safety performance of
contract employer so that the contractor imposed safety-related work rules on its their contract employers. This feedback
can correct the violations and prevent contractors, those rules are almost will also help host employers satisfy
them from occurring in the future. The certain to impact the safety and health their obligations under the Agency’s
contract employer is responsible for of employees of the host and contract
multiemployer enforcement policy (CPL
correcting these violations, but may not 02–00–124).
employers. For example, electric
be aware of them. Thus, the proposal OSHA’s recognition of the need for
utilities typically require contractors to employers on multiemployer worksites
would require the host employer to
follow the utilities’ procedures for to share responsibility for workplace
report violations to the contract
deenergizing electric circuits. If the safety and health is reflected in the
employer so that the contract employer
contract employer’s employees do not Agency’s multiemployer enforcement
will know to take corrective action.
Contracts between electric utilities follow these procedures, a circuit the policy. On multiemployer worksites,
and their contractors typically contain contractor’s employees are working on citations are normally issued not only to
provisions requiring contractors to meet might not be properly deenergized or a the employer whose employees are
OSHA standards and other provisions circuit the contractor was not working exposed to hazards (the exposing
addressing noncompliance with the on might become reenergized. These employer) but, depending on the actions
terms of the contract. OSHA believes hazards could cause the electrocution of the employer has taken to detect
that host employers should take the employees of either employer. violations and protect employees, also
appropriate measures to enforce the OSHA invites comments on whether to:
terms of the contract with respect to safe requiring a contractor to follow a host (1) The employer who creates the
work practices and get the contractor to employer’s safety-related work rules hazard (the creating employer);
fix any uncorrected violations. OSHA could possibly make the work more (2) The employer who has the
also believes that host employers should hazardous and, if so, how the standard authority, by contract or practice, to
carefully review the contracts of should address this possibility. ensure that the hazardous condition is
contractors who fail to correct violations Even work rules imposed primarily corrected (the controlling employer);
before renewing those contracts. The for reasons other than employee safety and
Agency requests comments on whether and health are likely to affect employee (3) The employer who has the
the standard should require these or safety in one way or another. Work rules responsibility for correcting the hazard
other actions on the part of the host that address the way electric equipment (the correcting employer).
employer to promote compliance with is installed, for example, also affect the OSHA’s proposed requirements
OSHA standards. safety of the host employer’s employees. concerning host employers and
Proposed paragraph (c)(2) addresses If the equipment is installed improperly, contractors do not affect the Agency’s
the responsibilities of the contract it can fail when it is in use, possibly long-standing multiemployer
employer. Paragraph (c)(2)(i) would injuring an employee. Similarly, work enforcement policy. Neither
require the contract employer to instruct rules imposed primarily for the § 1910.269(a)(4) nor § 1926.950(d)
its employees in the hazards protection of the public can also affect increase an employer’s obligations or
communicated to the contractor by the employee safety. For example, if a liability under that policy. Furthermore,
host employer. A note following this contractor’s employees do not follow a nothing in the proposed rule changes
paragraph indicates that this instruction rule that requires trailer loads to be tied OSHA’s position’as expressed in CPL
would be in addition to the training down, employees at the host employer’s 02–00–124 and various court cases (see,
provided under § 1926.950(b). Proposed facilities would be exposed to shifting for example, Anning-Johnson 94 O.S.H.
paragraph (c)(2)(i) would ensure that or falling loads in the same way that Cas. (BNA) 1193), Harvey Workover, Inc.
information on hazards the employees members of the public would be. OSHA (7 O.S.H. Cas. (BNA) 1687))–that each
might face is conveyed to those requests comments on whether host employer is responsible for the health
employees. The hazard information employers impose any work rules that and safety of his or her own employees,

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and under certain circumstances may be paragraph would affect the application equipment, electric power transmission
cited for endangering the safety of of various requirements contained and distribution workers suffer
another’s employees. Because the within Subpart V. For example, the electrocution on the job. Many electric
proposed requirements will help voltage on equipment will determine shock victims suffer ventricular
increase communication between host the minimum approach distances fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation is an
employers and contractors about known required under proposed abnormal, chaotic heart rhythm that
hazards, however, the proposed § 1926.960(c)(1). Similarly, the presence prevents the heart from pumping blood
requirements may help employers on or absence of an equipment grounding and, if unchecked, leads to death.
multiemployer worksites meet their conductor will affect the work practices Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is
obligations under CPL 02–00–124, as required under proposed § 1926.960(j). necessary in the event of electric shock
noted earlier. In determining who to If conditions to which no specific so that injured employees can be
hold responsible under its Subpart V provision applies are found, revived. CPR must be started within 4
multiemployer enforcement policy, then the employee would be trained, as minutes to be effective in reviving an
OSHA will look at who created the required by proposed employee whose heart has gone into
hazard, who controlled the hazard, and § 1926.950(b)(1)(ii), to use appropriate fibrillation.
whether all reasonable means were safe work practices. To protect employees performing
taken to deal with the hazard. OSHA does not intend to require work on or associated with exposed
OSHA is not proposing to require the employers to take measurements on a lines or equipment energized at 50 volts
host employer to evaluate contract routine basis in order to make the or more, OSHA is proposing to require
employers’ safety performance. determinations required by proposed employees with first aid and CPR
However, contract employers with poor § 1926.950(d). For example, knowledge training to be available to render
safety performances are likely to of the maximum transient voltage level assistance in an emergency. CPR
jeopardize not only their own is necessary to perform many routine training would be required for field
employees but employees of the host transmission and distribution line jobs crews of two or more employees (a
employer as well. Even when a host safely; however, no measurement is minimum of two trained employees)
employer hires a contractor to perform necessary in the determination of what and for fixed worksites (enough trained
jobs where employees of the host will the maximum level is. It can be employees to provide assistance within
not be present under normal determined by an analysis of the electric 4 minutes) in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and
circumstances, employees of the host circuit, or the employer can assume the (b)(1)(ii), respectively.
employer will be present in some default maximum transient overvoltages Paragraph (b)(1)(i) would allow
circumstances, such as during quality as discussed under proposed employers to train all employees in CPR
control inspections, in the aftermath of § 1926.960(c)(1). Similarly, employers within 3 months of being hired in lieu
an accident, and during emergency can make determinations of the of having two CPR-trained persons on
restoration situations. In addition, the presence of hazardous induced voltages every field crew. If the employer chose
work performed by a contractor can and of the presence and condition of this alternative for field work, then only
affect the safety of employees of the host grounds without taking one CPR-trained employee would be
employer after the contractor is gone. measurements.18 required. In practice, crews with more
(For example, if the contractor fails to than one person would normally have
secure a crossarm to a utility pole Section 1926.951, Medical Services and two or more CPR-trained employees on
properly the crossarm could come down First Aid the crew, since all employees who had
while an employee of the host employer Section 1926.951 proposes been working for an employer more
is working on the pole.) Therefore, requirements for medical services and than 3 months would be trained.
OSHA requests comments on the need first aid. Paragraph (a) of § 1926.951 However, employers who rely on
to require host employers to evaluate emphasizes that the requirements of seasonal labor (for example, those hired
the safety performance of their § 1926.50 apply. (See § 1926.950(a)(2).) only in the summer months) might have
contractors. Existing section 1926.50 includes two-person crews with only one CPR-
Frequently, the conditions present at provisions for available medical trained employee for 3 months out of
a jobsite can expose employees to personnel, first aid training and every year. Worse, that trained
unexpected hazards. For example, the supplies, and facilities for drenching or employee would likely be the employee
grounding system available at an flushing of the eyes and body in the directly exposed to electrical hazards,
outdoor site could have been damaged event of exposure to corrosive materials. because new employees are typically
by the weather or by vehicular traffic, or Because of the hazard of electric hired as helpers working on the ground
communications cables in the vicinity shock when employees are performing away from most electrical hazards.
could reduce the approach distance to work on or with energized lines and OSHA requests comments on whether
an unacceptable level. To protect allowing employers the option of
employees from such adverse situations, 18 It may be necessary for measurements to be training all their employees in CPR if
the conditions present in the work area made if there is doubt as to the condition of a they are trained within 3 months of
should be known so that appropriate ground or the level of induced or transient voltage being hired is sufficiently protective.
and if the employer is relying on one of these
action can be taken. Paragraph (d) of conditions to meet other requirements in the The Agency also requests comments on
§ 1926.950 would address this problem standard. For example, an engineering analysis of how this provision could be revised to
by requiring conditions existing in the a particular installation might reveal that voltage minimize burdens on employers while
work area to be determined before work induced on a deenergized line is considerable, but providing adequate protection for
should not be dangerous. A measurement of the
is started. The language for this voltage is warranted if the employer is using this employees.
paragraph was based upon language in analysis as a basis for claiming that the provisions Someone must defibrillate a victim of
current § 1926.950(b)(1). A similar of proposed § 1926.964(b)(4) or hazardous induced ventricular fibrillation quickly to allow
requirement can be found in ANSI C2– voltage do not apply. In another case, further a normal heart rhythm to resume. The
investigation would be warranted if an equipment
2002 (the NESC), Section 420D. ground is found to be of questionable reliability,
sooner defibrillation is started, the
The conditions found as a result of unless the equipment is treated as energized under better the victim’s chances of survival.
compliance with this proposed proposed § 1926.960(j). If defibrillation is provided within the

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first 5 minutes of the onset of live parts energized at 50 volts or more defibrillation, which is necessary to
ventricular fibrillation, the odds are (§§ 1910.303(g)(2)(i) and revive a victim who has suffered
about 50 percent that the victim will 1926.403(i)(2)(i)), and the general ventricular fibrillation. A device that
recover. However, with each passing industry electrical safety-related work enables a CPR-trained individual to
minute, the chance of successful practices standard requires electric perform defibrillation is now widely
resuscitation is reduced by 7 to 10 circuits to be deenergized starting at 50 available. This device is called an
percent. After 10 minutes, there is very volts or more if electric shock is the automated external defibrillator (AED).
little chance of successful rescue. only hazard (§ 1910.333(a)(1)). (See the Automated External
OSHA has chosen a 50 volts as a Similarly, the National Electrical Code Defibrillator FAQ.) OSHA requests
widely recognized threshold for and the National Electrical Safety Code public comments on whether the
hazardous electric shock. Although it is impose electrical safety requirements standard should require the employer to
theoretically possible to sustain a life- starting at 50 volts. provide AEDs and, if so, where they
threatening shock at this voltage, it is Paragraph (b)(1) of proposed
should be required. Commenters
considered extremely unlikely. In § 1926.951 would require CPR training
addition, other OSHA and national to ensure that electric shock victims recommending a requirement for AEDs
consensus standards recognize this 50- survive long enough for defibrillation to should submit information on costs,
volt threshold. For example, OSHA’s be efficacious. This paragraph would safety, and efficacy of and experience
general industry and construction allow the employer to rely on with these devices.
electrical standards require guarding of emergency responders to provide BILLING CODE 4510–26–P

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OSHA has adopted guidelines for the When more than one employee is planning discussions would be required
evaluation of first aid training by involved, the job plan must be for work involving significant changes
competent professionals as well as by communicated to all the affected in routine (proposed paragraph (c)(2)).
compliance staff in the context of employees. If the job is planned but the For example, if the first two jobs of the
workplace inspections (OSHA plan is not discussed with the workers, day involve working on a deenergized
instruction CPL 02–02–053). Because one employee may perform his or her line and the third job involves working
these guidelines are already in place, duties out of order or may otherwise not on energized lines with live-line tools,
the Agency is not proposing coordinate activities with the rest of the separate briefings must be conducted for
requirements related to the content or crew, endangering the entire crew. each type of job.
adequacy of first aid or CPR training. Employers performing electric power Under proposed paragraph (d)(1), the
The Agency will continue to use the generation, transmission, and required briefing would normally
guidelines in CPL 02–02–053 to distribution work use job briefings consist of a concise discussion outlining
determine the adequacy of first aid before each job to plan the work and the tasks to be performed. However, if
training courses provided to employees. communicate the job plan to employees. the work is particularly hazardous or if
In § 1926.951(b)(2), OSHA is Therefore, OSHA is requiring a job the employees may not be able to
proposing that first aid supplies briefing before work is started. recognize the hazards involved, then a
required by § 1926.50(d) be placed in Paragraph (c) of existing § 1910.269 more thorough discussion would be
weatherproof containers if they could be contains a requirement for the employee required by paragraph (d)(2). With this
exposed to the weather. This provision in charge of the job to conduct the job provision, OSHA recognizes that
is intended to ensure that first aid briefing. OSHA has found in enforcing employees are familiar with the tasks
supplies do not get ruined by exposure this paragraph that some employers and hazards involved with routine
to the weather. were placing the entire burden of work. However, it is important to take
compliance with this rule on the part of the time to carefully discuss unusual
Paragraph (b)(3) of proposed
the employee in charge of the work, work situations that may pose
§ 1926.951 would require first aid kits to
whether or not that employee was a additional or different hazards to
be maintained ready for use and
supervisor. Therefore, the Agency is workers. (See also the preamble
inspected frequently enough to ensure
proposing, in § 1926.952(a)(1), that the discussion of § 1926.950(b)(4).) OSHA
that expended items are replaced. In any
employer provide the employee in has included a note following this
event, they would have to be inspected
charge of a job with available paragraph to clarify that, regardless of
at least once a year. OSHA is proposing
information necessary to perform the job how short the discussion is, the briefing
this provision to ensure that first aid
safely. The note following this provision must still touch on all the topics listed
kits are maintained with all of the
indicates that the information provided in paragraph (b).
proper equipment. by the employer is intended to OSHA recognizes the importance of
Section 1926.952, Job Briefing supplement the training requirements of job planning for all employees.
§ 1926.950(b) and is likely to be more Although work procedure discussions
In § 1926.952, OSHA is proposing a general in nature than the job briefing would not have relevance for an
requirement for a job briefing to be provided by the employee in charge. employee working alone, the Agency
conducted before each job. This section, The note also clarifies that information does not believe that an employee who
which has no counterpart in existing covering all jobs for a day may be labors alone needs to plan his or her
Subpart V, is based upon § 1910.269(c). disseminated at the beginning of the tasks any less than one who is assisting
Most of the work performed under the day. The information does not need to others. OSHA is aware of several
proposal requires planning in order to be provided at the start of each job. fatalities involving a lone employee who
ensure employee safety (as well as to OSHA understands that some employers could have benefitted from better job
protect equipment and the general assign jobs through a dispatcher, who planning or perhaps a briefing with the
public). Typically, electric power does not have the knowledge necessary supervisor before the job started.
transmission and distribution work to provide a job briefing. The Agency Therefore, OSHA has included a
exposes employees to the hazards of thus invites comments on the requirement in proposed paragraph (e)
exposed conductors energized at appropriateness of this requirement and for job planning for these employees.
thousands of volts. If the work is not welcomes suggested alternative ways of
thoroughly planned ahead of time, the Section 1926.953, Enclosed Spaces
requiring the employer to impart
possibility of human error is increased relevant knowledge about hazards The requirements being proposed in
greatly. To avoid problems, the task relating to specific assignments in the § 1926.953 have been taken from
sequence is prescribed before work is job briefing process. § 1910.269(e). Paragraph (e) of
started. For example, before climbing a Paragraph (a)(2) contains the § 1910.269 applies to maintenance work
pole, the employee must determine if proposed requirement for the employee performed in enclosed spaces, and
the pole is capable of remaining in place in charge of the job to conduct a job OSHA believes that the requirements for
and if minimum approach distances are briefing. Proposed paragraph (b) would performing construction work in these
sufficient, and he or she must determine require the briefing to cover: hazards spaces should be the same.
what tools will be needed and what and work procedures involved, special Section 1926.953 contains
procedure should be used for precautions, energy source controls, and requirements for entry into and work in
performing the job. Without job requirements for personal protective enclosed spaces. An ‘‘enclosed space’’ is
planning, the worker may not know or equipment. These two requirements defined to be a space that has a limited
recognize the minimum approach have been taken from the introductory means of entry or egress, that is
distance requirements or may have to text of § 1910.269(c). designed for periodic entry by
reclimb the pole to retrieve a forgotten Under proposed paragraph (c)(1), at employees under normal operating
tool or perform an overlooked task, least one briefing would be required conditions, and that is not expected to
resulting in increased exposure to the before the start of each shift. Only one contain a hazardous atmosphere, but
hazards of falling and contact with briefing in a shift is needed if all the may contain one under unusual
energized lines. jobs are similar in nature. Additional conditions. In this section, OSHA

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intends to cover only the types of (2) Has limited or restricted means for work covered by § 1926.953 occurs19).20
enclosed spaces that are routinely entry or exit (for example, tanks, Underground repair crews, in which
entered by employees engaged in vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, these employees work, can typically
electric power transmission and vaults, and pits are spaces that may expect to enter a manhole once or twice
distribution work and that are unique to have limited means of entry.); and a day.21 The enclosed space entry
underground utility work. Work in these (3) Is not designed for continuous procedure addressed by § 1926.953 is a
spaces is part of the day-to-day activities employee occupancy. day-to-day part of the routine of these
performed by employees protected by Permit-required confined space workers. This type of work is unique to
this standard. Enclosed spaces include (permit space) means a confined space underground utilities (such as electric,
manholes and vaults that provide that has one or more of the following telephone, and water utilities), and the
employees access to electric power characteristics: hazards presented by these spaces are
transmission and distribution (1) Contains or has a potential to widely recognized by these industries
equipment. For reasons explained later, contain a hazardous atmosphere; and their workers. Indeed, OSHA
this section does not address other types (2) Contains a material that has the recognized this in promulgating
of confined spaces, such as boilers, potential for engulfing an entrant; § 1910.269 (January 31, 1994, 59 FR
tanks, and coal bunkers, that are (3) Has an internal configuration such 4366).
common to other industries as well. that an entrant could be trapped or Additionally, the hazards posed by
These locations are addressed in asphyxiated by inwardly converging the enclosed spaces covered in
OSHA’s generic permit-required walls or by a floor which slopes § 1926.953 are generally much more
confined space standard, § 1910.146, downward and tapers to a smaller cross- limited than the hazards posed by
which applies to all of general industry, section; or permit spaces addressed in § 1910.146
including industries engaged in electric (4) Contains any other recognized or in proposed § 1926.33. By definition,
power generation, transmission, and serious safety or health hazard. ‘‘enclosed spaces’’ are designed for
distribution work. OSHA is also The permit-required confined space employee occupancy during normal
developing a standard for confined standard requires employers to operating conditions. Electrical and
space entry during construction work implement a comprehensive confined other energy systems would not have to
(RIN 1218–AB47). space entry program. This standard be shut down, nor would the space have
Proposed § 1926.953 would apply to covers the wide range of permit- to be drained of liquids for the
‘‘enclosed spaces.’’ By definition, an required confined spaces encountered employee to enter the space safely. On
enclosed space would be a permit- throughout general industry. Because the other hand, other ‘‘permit-required
required confined space under the hazards posed by these spaces vary confined spaces,’’ such as boilers, fuel
§ 1926.146. An enclosed space meets the so greatly, § 1910.146 requires tanks, and transformer and circuit
definition of a confined space—it is employers to implement a permit breaker cases, are not designed for
large enough for an employee to enter; system for entry into them. The permit employee occupancy and require energy
it has a limited means of access or system must spell out the steps to be sources to be isolated and fluids to be
egress; it is designed for periodic, rather taken to make the space safe for entry drained from the space before an
than continuous, employee occupancy and must include provisions for employee can safely enter.
under normal operating conditions. An attendants stationed outside the spaces The hazards posed by enclosed spaces
enclosed space also meets the definition and for rescue of entrants, who could be consist of (1) limited access and egress,
of a permit space—although it is not (2) possible lack of oxygen, (3) possible
disabled inside the space. However, an
expected to contain a hazardous presence of flammable gases, and (4)
employer need not follow the permit-
atmosphere, it has the potential to possible presence of limited amounts of
entry requirements of § 1910.146 for
contain one. toxic chemicals. The potential
In the preamble to the permit-required spaces where the hazards have been
completely eliminated or for spaces atmospheric hazards are caused by an
confined spaces standard, OSHA enclosed space’s lack of adequate
acknowledged that ‘‘the practices where an alternative set of procedures
are observed. The alternative procedures ventilation and can normally be
necessary to make confined spaces that controlled through the use of
merely have the potential to contain apply only where the space can be made
safe for entry through the use of continuous forced air ventilation alone.
hazardous atmospheres (as opposed to Practices to control these hazards are
one that contains a hazardous continuous forced air ventilation alone.
The procedures, which are set forth in widely recognized and are currently in
atmosphere under normal operating use in electric, telecommunications, and
conditions) safe are widely recognized § 1910.146(c)(5)(ii), ensure that
conditions within the permit space do other underground utility industries.
and used throughout various industries Such practices include testing for the
[58 FR 4486].’’ The Agency recognized not endanger an entrant’s life or ability
to rescue himself or herself. presence of flammable gases and vapors,
the electric power generation, testing for oxygen deficiency,
transmission, and distribution industry OSHA believes that § 1910.146 is the
proper place to regulate permit-required ventilation of the enclosed space,
as one of those industries (January 31, controls on the use of open flames, and
1994, 58 FR 4489). confined spaces other than enclosed
spaces. The enclosed space the use of an attendant outside the
Section 1910.146 contains
requirements of the proposed rule are space. These practices are already
requirements that address hazards
associated with entry into ‘‘permit- intended to regulate a portion of electric
19 Work in these spaces can be either maintenance
required confined spaces’’ (permit power transmission and distribution
work covered by Part 1910 or construction work
spaces). Section 1910.146 defines work that is routine and presents covered by Part 1926. In fact, it is likely that both
‘‘confined space’’ and ‘‘permit-required limited hazards to the qualified types of work are performed periodically over the
confined space’’ as follows: employees covered by Subpart V who course of time.
Confined space means a space that: are performing that work. An estimated 20 ERG, ‘‘Preparation of an Economic Impact

14,350 employees are engaged in Study for the Proposed OSHA Regulation Covering
(1) Is large enough and so configured Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and
that an employee can bodily enter and underground transmission and Distribution,’’ p. 8–8.
perform assigned work; and distribution work (where most of the 21 Id., p. 8–21.

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required by § 1910.269(e) for the with the specific regulations contained Proposed paragraph (f) would require
maintenance of electric power in paragraphs (e) through (o) and must that openings to enclosed spaces be
generation, transmission, and include safe rescue procedures. guarded to protect employees from
distribution installations. Section Proposed paragraph (c) would require falling into the space and to protect
1910.146, itself, recognizes permit employees who enter enclosed spaces or employees in the enclosed space from
spaces that are equivalent to enclosed who serve as attendants to be trained in being injured by objects entering the
spaces and sets separate provisions, hazards associated with enclosed space space. The guard could be in the form
similar to those contained in proposed entry, in the entry procedures, and in of a railing, a temporary cover, or any
§ 1926.953, for those spaces. rescue procedures. This training will other temporary barrier that provides
Proposed paragraph (a) contains the ensure that employees are trained to the required protection.
scope of the enclosed space provisions. work safely in enclosed spaces and that Proposed paragraph (g) would
As previously noted, enclosed spaces they will be prepared in the event that prohibit employees from entering
are defined as spaces that have limited an emergency arises within the space. enclosed spaces that contain a
means of entry or egress, that are OSHA believes that there is a need for hazardous atmosphere. Once the
designed for periodic entry by rescue equipment to be available in the hazardous atmosphere is removed (for
employees under normal operating event that an injured employee must be example, by ventilating the enclosed
conditions, and that are not expected to retrieved from the enclosed space. The space), employees would be allowed to
contain hazardous atmospheres but may Agency has decided to adopt a enter. If an entry is to be made while a
contain them under unusual conditions. performance approach here and is hazardous atmosphere is present, the
These spaces include manholes and proposing, in paragraph (d), that the entry is required to conform to the
unvented vaults. This paragraph also employer provide equipment that will generic permit-required confined spaces
notes (1) that § 1926.953 applies to assure the prompt and safe rescue of standard, § 1910.146. The use of the
routine entry into enclosed spaces in injured employees. The equipment must term ‘‘entry’’ in this paragraph of
lieu of the permit-space entry enable a rescuer to remove an injured § 1926.953 is consistent with the use of
requirements of § 1910.146, and (2) that employee from the enclosed space that term in § 1910.146, and OSHA is
the generic permit-required confined proposing to include the § 1910.146
quickly and without injury to the
spaces standard, § 1910.146, applies to definition of ‘‘entry’’ in Subpart V.
rescuer or further harm to the fallen
entries into enclosed spaces where the
employee. A harness, a lifeline, and a Proposed paragraph (h) addresses the
precautions taken under §§ 1926.953
self-supporting winch can normally be use of an attendant outside the enclosed
and 1926.965 do not protect entrants.
The ventilation in vented vaults used in this manner. space to provide assistance in an
prevents a hazardous atmosphere from Some conditions within an enclosed emergency. An attendant would be
accumulating, so vented vaults are space, such as high temperature and required if a hazard exists because of
proposed to be excluded from coverage. high pressure, make it hazardous to traffic patterns near the opening. The
However, the intake or exhaust of a remove any cover from the space. For purpose of the attendant would be to
vented vault could be clogged, limiting example, if high pressure is present protect the entrant from traffic hazards
the flow of air through the vaults. The within the space, the cover could be while the entrant is entering or exiting
employee in such cases would be blown off in the process of removing it. the space and to provide assistance in
exposed to the same hazards as those To protect employees from such an emergency. However, the attendant
presented by unvented vaults. hazards, proposed paragraph (e) would would not be precluded from
Additionally, the mechanical require a determination of whether or performing other duties outside the
ventilation for a vault may fail to not it is safe to remove the cover. This enclosed space, as long as those duties
operate. To ensure that the employee is determination may take the form of a do not interfere with the person’s
protected from the hazards posed by quick check of the conditions expected function as an attendant. The attendant
lack of proper ventilation, the proposed to be in the enclosed space. For would be required to have the first aid
rule exempts vented vaults only if a example, the cover could be checked to training required under § 1926.951(b)(1).
determination is made that the see if it is hot and, if it is fastened in This proposed provision would
ventilation is in full operating place, could be loosened gradually to require the attendant to remain outside
condition. The determination must release any residual pressure. An the enclosed space during the entire
ensure that ventilation openings are evaluation must also be made of entry procedure. The intent of this
clear and that any permanently installed whether conditions at the site could paragraph is to require the presence of
mechanical ventilating equipment is in cause a hazardous atmosphere to a person with first aid training outside
proper working order. accumulate in the space. Any the enclosed space if a hazard exists due
Some employers may want to comply conditions making it unsafe for to traffic patterns outside the space. If
with § 1910.146 for entry into enclosed employees to remove the cover are this person were to enter the enclosed
spaces falling under § 1926.953. Because required to be eliminated (that is, space, he or she might be unable to
the provisions of § 1910.146 protect reduced to the extent that it is no longer assist the employee already within the
employees entering enclosed spaces to unsafe). This provision is intended to space. For example, if traffic hazards are
the same degree as § 1926.953, OSHA require a check of whether the cover is present in the area of the opening to the
will accept compliance with § 1910.146 hot, a determination of whether there enclosed space and if the attendant
as meeting the enclosed space entry were conditions in the area conducive entered the space, then both the
requirements of § 1926.953. A note to to the formation of a hazardous attendant and the workers he or she is
this effect has been included atmosphere within the enclosed space, intended to protect would be vulnerable
immediately following paragraph (a). and a check (typically by means of upon leaving. No one would be present
Paragraph (b) proposes the general loosening the cover slightly) of whether to minimize or control the traffic
requirement that employers ensure the there was a hazardous pressure hazards. Therefore, the proposed rule
use of safe work practices by their differential between the two sides of the explicitly states that the attendant is
employees. These safe work practices cover. A note to this effect is included required to remain outside the enclosed
must include procedures for complying following proposed paragraph (e). space.

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On the other hand, if no traffic provided before employees are allowed dependent on speculation by a
hazards are present, an attendant would to enter the space.) supervisor or an employee.
still be required under proposed Proposed paragraph (k) would require Paragraph (m) would also require the
§ 1926.965(d) while work is being the internal atmosphere of the enclosed air provided by the ventilating
performed in a manhole or vault space to be tested for flammable gases equipment to be directed at the area
containing energized conductors. The and vapors. The results of the test must within the enclosed space where
major, though not the only, hazard in indicate that the atmosphere is safe employees are at work. The forced air
this case is that of electric shock. before employees can enter. So that the ventilation would be required to be
Assistance can be provided to a victim results are accurate and are relevant to maintained the entire time the
of electric shock by another person in the atmosphere in the space at the time employees are present within the space.
the manhole or vault. Therefore, the of employee entry, testing is required to These provisions would ensure that a
provisions of § 1926.965(d)(2) would be performed with a direct reading hazardous atmosphere does not reoccur
permit the attendant required under that meter or similar instrument. Test where employees are working.
paragraph to enter the manhole or vault equipment that samples the atmosphere In order to ensure that the air
for brief periods of time in so that the samples can be forwarded to supplied by the ventilating equipment
nonemergency conditions when no a laboratory for analysis does not meet will provide a safe atmosphere,
traffic hazards are present. the requirements of this paragraph. The proposed paragraph (n) would require
Proposed paragraph (i) would require flammability test must be undertaken the air supply to be from a clean source
test instruments used to monitor after the steps taken under paragraph (j) and would prohibit it from increasing
atmospheres in enclosed spaces to be ensure that the enclosed space has the hazards in the enclosed space. For
kept in calibration, with a minimum sufficient oxygen for accurate results. example, positioning the air intake for
accuracy of ±10 percent. This will If flammable gases or vapors are the ventilating equipment near the
ensure that test measurements are detected or if an oxygen deficiency is exhaust from a gasoline or diesel engine
accurate so that hazardous conditions found, proposed paragraph (l) would would contaminate the atmosphere in
will be detected when they arise. OSHA require the employer to provide forced the enclosed space. This practice would
considers ±10 percent to be the air ventilation to assure safe levels of not be allowed under the proposal.
minimum accuracy needed to detect oxygen and to prevent a hazardous The use of open flames in enclosed
hazardous conditions reliably. However, concentration of flammable gases or spaces is safe only when flammable
because proposed paragraph (i) would vapors from accumulating. As an gases or vapors are not present in
require the test instrument to be kept in alternative, an employer could use a hazardous quantities. For this reason,
calibration at all times, a higher continuous monitoring system that proposed paragraph (o) would require
accuracy might be necessary to keep the ensures that no hazardous atmosphere additional testing for flammable gases
test instrument in calibration. develops and no increase in flammable and vapors if open flames are to be used
As noted earlier, because of the lack gas or vapor concentration occurs. The in enclosed spaces. The tests would
of adequate ventilation, enclosed spaces definition of hazardous atmosphere have to be performed immediately
can accumulate hazardous contains guidelines for the before the open flame device is used
concentrations of flammable gases and determination of whether or not the and at least once per hour while the
vapors, or an oxygen deficient concentration of a substance is at a device is in use. More frequent testing
atmosphere could develop. It is hazardous level. OSHA is including a would be required if conditions indicate
important to keep concentrations of note to this effect after paragraph (l). An the need for it. Examples of such
oxygen and flammable gases and vapors identical note appears after paragraph conditions include the presence of
at safe levels; otherwise, an explosion (o). volatile flammable liquids in the
could occur while employees are in the Paragraph (m) proposes specific enclosed space and a history of
space, or an oxygen deficiency could requirements for the ventilation of hazardous quantities of flammable
lead to the suffocation of an employee. enclosed spaces. When forced air vapors or gases in a given space.
Toward these ends, paragraphs (j), (k), ventilation is used, it is required to be
maintained before entry for a period of Section 1926.954, Personal Protective
(l), (m), (n), and (o) address the testing Equipment
of the atmosphere in the space and time long enough to purge the
atmosphere within the space of Section 1926.954 proposes
ventilation of the space.
Proposed paragraph (j) would require hazardous amounts of flammable gases requirements for personal protective
the atmosphere in an enclosed space to and vapors and long enough to supply equipment (PPE), which includes eye
be tested for oxygen and would require an adequate concentration of oxygen. and face protection, respiratory
that the testing be done with a direct- After the ventilation has been protection, head protection, foot
reading meter or similar instrument. maintained for this amount of time, protection, protective clothing,
However, continuous forced air employees can then safely enter the electrical protective equipment, and
ventilation is permitted as an alternative space. personal fall protection equipment. In
to testing. Such ventilation would OSHA has decided not to specify a accordance with § 1926.950(a)(2),
ensure that there is sufficient oxygen 22 minimum number of air changes before paragraph (a) of proposed § 1926.954
employee entry into the enclosed space emphasizes that the requirements of
in the enclosed space. (See also
is permitted. Instead, the Agency places Subpart E of Part 1926 apply.
paragraph (m) for requirements relating
the burden on the employer to ensure Paragraph (b) proposes requirements
to the length of time ventilation must be
that the atmosphere is safe before entry. for personal fall protection systems. In
22 The definition of ‘‘hazardous atmosphere’’ The employer can discharge this duty paragraph (b)(1), OSHA is proposing
determines what concentractions of oxygen are either by testing to determine the safety that personal fall arrest systems meet
considered hazardous. (See the discussion of this of the atmosphere in the space or by a the design, care, and use requirements
term under the summary and explanation of thorough evaluation of the air flow of Subpart M of Part 1926. The note
§ 1926.968 later in this preamble.) Paragraph (g) of
proposed § 1926.953 would prohibit entry into an
required to make the atmosphere safe. In following proposed paragraph (b)(1)
enclosed space while a hazardous atmosphere is this way, the safety of employees indicates that this provision applies to
present. working in enclosed spaces will not be all personal fall arrest systems used in

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work covered by Subpart V. Thus, even equipment in the maintenance and several manufacturers market
if another construction standard construction of electric power combination body harness-body belts,
requires the use of fall protection transmission and distribution which can be used as fall arrest systems
equipment, § 1926.954(b)(1) would installations. However, fall arrest by employees working on horizontal
require a personal fall arrest system to equipment and work positioning surfaces or as work positioning systems
meet Subpart M when that form of fall equipment present significant supporting employees working on
protection is selected for use in work differences in the way they are used and vertical surfaces. OSHA requests
covered by Subpart V. in the forces placed on an employee’s comments on whether or not there are
For example, § 1926.453(b)(2)(v) body. With fall arrest equipment, an unique situations in electric power
requires employees working from aerial employee is given freedom of movement transmission and distribution work that
lifts to wear a body belt with a lanyard within an area restricted by the length warrant different requirements than
attached to the boom or basket. Section of the lanyard or other device those contained in existing Subpart M
1926.453 sets the duty to provide fall connecting the employee to the or in this proposal. Information is also
protection but does not set criteria for anchorage. In contrast, work positioning requested on how any suggested
the fall protection equipment to meet. equipment is used to support an changes will protect employees in an
Because the note following proposed employee in position while he or she equivalent manner.
§ 1926.954(b)(1) would require fall works. The employee ‘‘leans’’ into this Proposed paragraph (b)(2) has been
arrest systems to meet Subpart M of Part equipment so that he or she can work taken from existing § 1926.959 and from
1926 and because Subpart M prohibits with both hands free. If a fall occurs ASTM F887–04, Standard
the use of body belts in fall arrest while an employee is wearing fall arrest Specifications for Personal Climbing
systems, a body belt worn by an equipment, the employee will free fall Equipment, which is the latest edition of
employee performing electric power up to 1.8 meters (6 feet) before the slack the national consensus standard
transmission or distribution work from is removed and the equipment begins to applicable to work positioning
an aerial lift could only be used as part arrest the fall. In this case, the fall arrest equipment. As in the proposed standard
of a restraint or tethering system, which forces can be very high, and they need on electrical protective equipment
would prevent the employee from to be spread over a relatively large area (§ 1926.97) discussed earlier in this
falling.23 (See the note following of the body to avoid injury to the preamble, OSHA is proposing
§ 1926.453(b)(2)(v).) employee. Additionally, the velocity at requirements derived from the ASTM
The hazards of using a body belt as which an employee falls can reach up standard but written in performance-
part of a fall arrest system are widely to 6.1 meters per second (20 feet per oriented terms. Detailed specifications
known and documented (54 FR 31449– second). Work positioning equipment is contained in the ASTM standard, which
31450; 59 FR 40703). Since the fall normally used to prevent a fall from do not directly impact the safety of
arrest forces are more concentrated for occurring in the first place. If the employees, have not been proposed.
a body belt in comparison to a body employee does slip and if the work The Agency believes that this will retain
harness, the risk of injury in a fall is positioning equipment is anchored, the the protection afforded by the ASTM
much greater with a body belt. In employee will only fall a short distance standard, but will allow flexibility in
addition, an employee can fall out of a (no more than 610 millimeters (2 feet)). meeting the OSHA standard and will
body belt in a fall. Lastly, an employee This limits the forces on the employee accommodate changes in the ASTM
faces an unacceptable risk of further and the maximum velocity. standard without corresponding
injury while suspended in a body belt Additionally, because of the way the changes in the OSHA standard.
as he or she awaits rescue. Because of equipment is used, the employee should Differences between the proposal and
these hazards, paragraph (d) of not be free falling. Instead, the work existing § 1926.959 are explained in the
§ 1926.502, which sets requirements for positioning equipment will be exerting following discussion of paragraph (b)(2).
some force on the employee to stop the While the ASTM standard does not
personal fall arrest equipment in
fall. This will further limit the cover lanyards, proposed paragraph
construction, has prohibited body belts
maximum force and velocity. (b)(2) would apply many of the ASTM
from use in a personal fall arrest system
OSHA recognized the differences requirements to lanyards. Existing
since January 1, 1998; body harnesses
between the two types of equipment in § 1926.959 imposes the same basic
must be used instead.
Subpart M, Fall Protection for requirements on lanyards, and OSHA
In paragraph (b)(2), OSHA is
Construction. In this standard the two believes that lanyards used as work
proposing revised requirements for
types of equipment are regulated positioning equipment for electric
work positioning equipment. Section
separately, and different requirements power transmission and distribution
1926.959 of existing Subpart V contains
apply to the two fall protection systems. work already meet these requirements.
requirements for body belts, safety
In this proposal, OSHA would again Comments are requested on whether or
straps, and lanyards. This equipment
apply requirements to personal fall not any of the proposed requirements
has traditionally been used as both work
arrest systems that differ from those that should not be applicable to lanyards
positioning equipment and fall arrest
apply to work positioning equipment. used as work positioning equipment.
23 The proposal would have a similar effect on
Personal fall arrest systems would have Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(i) would
work covered by § 1910.269. Paragraph (c)(2)(v) of to meet Subpart M of Part 1926, as require hardware for body belts and
§ 1910.67 also contains a requirement for employees would be required by proposed positioning straps to be drop-forged,
covered by the general industry standards to wear § 1926.954(b)(1). Work positioning pressed, or formed steel or to be made
a body belt and lanyard when working from an equipment would have to meet the of equivalent material. This hardware
aerial lift. Section 1910.67 sets the duty to provide
fall protection but provides no criteria for the fall
requirements proposed in would also be required to have a
protection equipment to meet. The proposed note § 1926.954(b)(2). Employers engaged in corrosion-resistant finish. Surfaces
following § 1910.269(g)(1)(i) states that personal fall electric power transmission and would have to be smooth and free of
arrest systems used with aerial lifts must meet distribution work could use the same sharp edges. This provision ensures that
Subpart M of Part 1926. Thus, a body belt would
not be permitted to be used as part of a personal
equipment for fall arrest and for work the hardware is strong enough to
fall arrest system for work from aerial lifts covered positioning provided the equipment met withstand the forces likely to be
by § 1910.269. both sets of requirements. In fact, imposed, is durable, and is free of sharp

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edges that could damage attached that raw edges are not exposed and that test in Table V–1 itself has been taken
positioning straps. the plies do not separate. Existing from ASTM F887–04, section 15.3.4.
This requirement is equivalent to § 1926.959 contains no similar Existing § 1926.959 contains no
existing § 1926.959(a)(1), except that the requirement. Proposed paragraph comparable provision.
existing standard does not permit (b)(2)(vi) has been taken from ASTM Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(viii) would
hardware to be made of any material F887–04, sections 14.2.2 and 15.2.2. require the cushion part of a body belt
other than drop-forged or pressed steel. This requirement is intended to prevent to be at least 76 millimeters (3 inches)
The ASTM standard requires hardware plied fabric from separating, which wide, with no exposed rivets on the
to be made of drop-forged steel. The could weaken a body belt or positioning inside. This requirement is essentially
drop-forged steel process produces strap and cause it to fail under load. identical to existing § 1926.959(b)(2)(i)
hardware that more uniformly meets the Although work positioning equipment and (ii).
required strength criteria and that is used in electric power transmission and Existing § 1926.959(b)(2)(iii), which
expected to retain its strength over a distribution work is not intended to be requires the cushion part of the body
longer useful life. It is possible, used as insulation from live parts, belt to be at least 0.15625 inches thick
however, for other processes to produce positioning straps could come into if made of leather, is not contained in
a product that is equivalent in terms of accidental contact with live parts while the proposed rule. The strength of the
strength and durability. Additionally, an employee is working. Thus, it is still body belt assembly, which is addressed
§ 1926.502(d)(1) and (e)(3) require important for this equipment to provide by this existing specification, is
‘‘connectors’’ (that is, hardware) to be a certain level of insulation. Proposed adequately covered by the performance-
made of the same types of material as paragraphs (b)(2)(vii)(A) and based strength criteria contained in
those specified in proposed (b)(2)(vii)(B) would require positioning proposed § 1926.954(b)(2)(xii).
§ 1926.954(b)(2)(i). Therefore, OSHA is straps to be capable of passing dielectric Additionally, as noted previously, load
proposing to permit hardware to be and leakage current tests. This provision bearing portions of the body belt would
made of alternative materials. is equivalent to existing no longer be permitted to be constructed
Comments are invited on whether or not § 1926.959(b)(1). The voltages listed in of leather alone under proposed
these alternative materials will provide these paragraphs are alternating current. paragraph (b)(2)(v).
adequate safety to employees. The note following proposed paragraph Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(ix) would
Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(ii) would (b)(2)(vii)(B) indicates that equivalent require that tool loops on a body belt be
require buckles to be capable of direct current tests would also be so situated that the 100 millimeters (4
withstanding an 8.9–kN (2,000-lbf) acceptable. inches) at the center of the back of the
tension test with a maximum permanent ASTM F887–04 does not require body belt are free of tool loops and any
deformation no greater than 0.4 positioning straps to pass a withstand other attachments. This requirement,
millimeters (0.0156 inches). This is the voltage test. Instead, it states in a note which has been taken from ASTM
same as existing § 1926.959(a)(2). The that the fabric used must pass a F887–04, section 14.4.3, is similar to
requirement is intended to ensure that withstand voltage test.24 OSHA invites existing § 1926.959(b)(3). It is intended
buckles do not fail if a fall occurs. comments on whether or not performing to prevent spine injuries to employees
Paragraph (b)(2)(iii) proposes that D a withstand test on positioning straps is who fall onto their backs while wearing
rings be capable of withstanding a 22– necessary for employee safety in electric a body belt.
kN (5,000-lbf) tensile test without transmission and distribution work. Existing § 1926.959(b)(3) permits a
cracking or breaking. This provision, Proposed paragraphs (b)(2)(vii)(C) and maximum of four tool loops, and
which is equivalent to existing (b)(2)(vii)(D) would require positioning existing § 1926.959(b)(2)(iv) requires the
§ 1926.959(a)(3), is intended to ensure straps to be capable of passing tension belt to contain pocket tabs for the
that D rings do not fail if a fall occurs. tests and buckle tear tests. Existing attachment of tool pockets. ASTM
Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(iv) would § 1926.959 has no equivalent F887–04 contains a similar requirement
require snaphooks to be capable of requirements. These tests, which have for pocket tabs. OSHA does not believe
withstanding a 22–kN (5,000-lbf) been taken from ASTM F887–04, that these two provisions are necessary
tension test without failure. A note sections 15.3.2 and 15.3.3, are intended for the protection of employees. These
following this provision indicates that to ensure that individual parts of requirements ensure that body belts are
tensile failure is considered to be positioning straps have adequate suitable as tool belts and contribute to
distortion of the snaphook sufficient to strength. the usefulness of the body belt.
release the keeper. If an electric arc occurs while an However, they do not contribute
Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(v) would employee is working, the work significantly to the safety of employees;
prohibit the use of leather or leather positioning equipment must be able to OSHA has thus not included similar
substitutes from being used alone as a support the employee in case he or she requirements in the proposal.
load bearing member in a body belt or loses consciousness. Additionally, the Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(x) would
positioning strap. Existing § 1926.959 positioning strap or lanyard must be require liners to be used around the bar
contains no equivalent requirement. The resistant to igniting, because, once of D rings. This provision, which is the
proposed paragraph, which has been ignited, it would quickly lose its same as existing § 1926.959(b)(4), is
taken from ASTM F887–04, sections strength and fail. Therefore, paragraph intended to prevent wear between the D
14.2.1 and 15.2.1, is necessary because (b)(2)(vii)(E) would require positioning ring and the body belt fabric. Such wear
leather and leather substitutes do not straps to be capable of passing a could contribute to failure of the body
retain their strength as they age. Because flammability test, which is described in belt during use.
this loss in strength is not always easy Table V–1. This requirement and the A snaphook has a keeper that is
to detect by visual inspection, it can designed to prevent a D ring to which
lead to failure under fall conditions. 24 It is not clear whether the ASTM provision is it is attached from coming out of the
Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(vi) would mandatory. Notes in ASTM standards are not opening of the snaphook. (See Figure 2.)
supposed to contain requirements, but the
require that plied fabric used in particular note in question (Note 2 following
Nevertheless, if the design of the
positioning straps and in load bearing section 15.3.1) uses the word ‘‘shall,’’ which snaphook is not compatible with the
portions of body belts be so constructed normally indicates that the provision is mandatory. design of the D ring, the D ring can roll

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34852 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules

around, press open the keeper, and free

itself from the snaphook. (See Figure 3.)

To address this problem, for many existing equipment, the employer unless the employee releases its locking
years, ASTM F887 had a requirement normally does not have the expertise mechanism. Because their are thousands
for snaphooks to be compatible with the necessary to run such tests in a of existing non-locking snaphooks
D rings with which they are used. Even comprehensive manner. Second, currently in use, OSHA is considering
with this requirement, however, snaphook keepers can be depressed by phasing in the requirement for older
accidents resulting from snaphook roll- objects other than the D rings to which equipment or completely grandfathering
outs have still occurred. Several factors they are attached. For example, a guy (a existing equipment that otherwise
account for this. First, while one support line) could fall onto the keeper complies with the proposal. The Agency
manufacturer can (and most do) while an employee was repositioning requests comments on this.
thoroughly test its snaphooks and its D himself or herself. This could allow the OSHA is proposing three
rings to ensure ‘‘compatibility,’’ no D ring to escape from the snaphook, and requirements for snaphooks to ensure
manufacturer can test its hardware in the employee would fall as soon as he that the keeper does not open without
every conceivable combination with or she leaned back into the work the intentional release of the employee
other manufacturers’ hardware, positioning equipment. using it. First, for the keeper to open, a
especially since some models of For these reasons, OSHA is proposing, locking mechanism would have to be
snaphooks and D rings are no longer in paragraph (b)(2)(xi), that snaphooks released, or a destructive force would
manufactured. While an employer might used as part of work positioning have to be placed on the keeper
be able to test all the different hardware equipment be of the locking type. A (paragraph (b)(2)(xi)(A)). Second, a force
combinations possible with his or her locking-type snaphook will not open in the range of 6.6 N (1.5 lbf) to 17.6 N

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules 34853

(4 lbf) would be required to release the is sufficiently strong for the heaviest locking type. OSHA’s proposal is based
locking mechanism (paragraph line worker who will use it, even those on this ASTM standard; and, with the
(b)(2)(xi)(B)). Third, with a force on the substantially heavier than the test mass. exception of those two provisions, is
keeper and with the locking mechanism However, the Agency requests consistent with that consensus standard.
released, the keeper would not be comments on whether the proposed test The third note indicates that body
allowed to open with a force of 11.0 N is adequate. belts and positioning straps meeting
(2.5 lbf) or less. Before the force exceeds Proposed paragraphs (b)(2)(xii)(B) and existing § 1926.502(e) on positioning
17.6 N (4 lbf), the keeper would have to (b)(2)(xii)(C) give the attachment means device systems are deemed to be in
begin to open (paragraph (b)(2)(xi)(C)). for body belts and for positioning straps, compliance with the manufacturing and
These requirements have been taken respectively. These provisions would construction requirements of paragraph
from ASTM F887–04, section 15.4.1. ensure that the work positioning (b)(2) of proposed § 1926.954 provided
Paragraph (b)(2)(xi)(C), relating to the equipment being tested is properly that the body belt or positioning strap
spring tension on the keeper, is the attached to the test apparatus. also conforms to proposed
same as existing § 1926.959(b)(6). Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(xii)(D) § 1926.954(b)(2)(vii). This provision
Existing § 1926.959(b)(7) requires would require the test mass to be requires positioning straps to pass
body belts, pole straps, and lanyards to dropped a distance of 1 meter (39.4 certain electrical and flame-resistance
be capable of passing a drop test, in inches). This is equivalent (given the tests. It also requires positioning straps
which a test load is dropped from a rigid test mass) to the existing to withstand a tension test and a buckle
specified height and the work standard’s test distance of 1.2 meters (4 tear test. These tests ensure that
positioning equipment arrests the fall. feet) for pole straps. Existing § 1926.959 positioning straps have suitable
The test consists of dropping a 113.4-kg requires lanyards to pass a 1.8-meter (6- electrical and mechanical properties to
(250-lbm) bag of sand a distance of foot) drop test. However, that standard withstand the stresses that can be
either 1.2 meters (4 feet) or 1.8 meters sets no limit on the free fall distance imposed by power line work. Body belts
(6 feet), respectively for pole straps and required for the work positioning and positioning straps that are parts of
lanyards. equipment covered under that standard. positioning device systems addressed by
The use of a bag of sand to represent The drop distance was based primarily § 1926.502(e) serve the same function as
a human body is one way to test work on the accepted practice of allowing a work positioning equipment in
positioning equipment. However, 1.8-meter (6-foot) maximum drop into a proposed Subpart V. OSHA believes
because the bag of sand can be fitted body belt-lanyard combination or a 0.6- that body belts and positioning straps
with the body belt in different ways, the or 0.9-meter (2-or 3-foot) maximum drop that meet the design criteria specified by
results of the test may not be consistent into a body belt-pole strap combination. § 1926.502(e) will generally be
among different testing laboratories. To Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iv) specifies a sufficiently strong for power line work.
overcome this, ASTM 887–04 has 0.5-meter (2-foot) maximum free fall However, to be fully suitable for power
adopted a drop test that uses a rigid distance, eliminating the need to drop line work, positioning straps should
steel mass of a specified design. To test lanyards at more than 1.2 meters (4 also meet the electrical, flame-
compensate for differences between a feet). resistance, and other characteristics
rigid mass and the more deformable Proposed paragraphs (b)(2)(xii)(E) and proposed in § 1926.954(b)(2)(vii).
human body, the ASTM standard uses (b)(2)(xii)(F) specify acceptance criteria The Agency believes that the last two
a lower test mass, 100 kg (220 lbm), and for tested equipment. Body belts would notes to proposed § 1926.954(b)(2) will
a shorter drop height, 1 meter (39.4 have to arrest the fall successfully and help manufacturers determine whether
inches). OSHA believes that the ASTM be capable of supporting the test mass or not their equipment meets the OSHA
test is equivalent to the existing OSHA after the test. Positioning straps would standard. Employers will thus be able to
test. OSHA also believes that adoption have to arrest the fall successfully determine, in most instances, whether
of the ASTM test, because it will result without allowing an arresting force or not work positioning equipment
in more uniform testing, will better exceeding 17.8 kN (4,000 lbf). meets the OSHA standard without
protect employees. Therefore, the Additionally, snaphooks on positioning having to conduct their own tests.
Agency is proposing to replace the sand straps would not be permitted to have Proposed paragraph (b)(3) addresses
bag drop test given in existing distorted sufficiently to allow release of the care and use of fall protection
§ 1926.959(b)(7) with a less-detailed the keeper. equipment. Fall protection equipment
version of the ASTM test in proposed Three notes apply to paragraph provides the maximum intended safety
§ 1926.954(b)(2)(xii). OSHA requests (b)(2).25 The first note indicates that only when it is properly used and
comments on whether this change is paragraph (b)(2) applies to all work maintained. Existing Subpart V
reasonable and appropriate. positioning equipment used in work recognizes this fact in § 1926.951(b)(3).
Proposed paragraph (b)(2)(xii)(A) covered by Subpart V. Existing § 1926.951(b)(1) requires the
would require the test mass to be The second note indicates that body use of fall protection equipment when
constructed of steel or equivalent belts and positioning straps that employees are working at elevated
material having a mass of 100 kg (220.5 conform to ASTM F 887–04 are deemed locations on poles, towers, and similar
lbm). This mass is comparable to the to be in compliance with the structures; § 1926.951(b)(3) requires this
113.4-kg (250-lbm) bag of sand given in manufacturing and construction equipment to be inspected before use
the existing OSHA standard. Even requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this each day. While it has carried these
though the test mass is lighter than a section provided that the body belt or requirements forward into the proposal,
heavy power line worker, the required positioning strap also conforms to OSHA believes that these requirements
test method places significantly more paragraphs (b)(2)(iv), which contains a must be supplemented by additional
stress than an employee of the same more stringent strength requirement requirements so that employees will be
mass because the test drop is 0.3 meters than ASTM F887–04, and (b)(2)(xi), fully protected from fall hazards faced
(1.28 feet) more than the maximum which requires snaphooks to be of the during electric power transmission and
permitted free fall distance and because distribution work. Therefore, OSHA is
the test mass is rigid. OSHA believes 25 These notes appear immediately after proposing requirements from
that this test indicates that a body belt paragraph (b)(2)(xii)(F). § 1910.269(g)(2) and from § 1926.502(e)

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34854 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules

relating to the care and use of fall is climbing or changing location on a travel restricting equipment is more
protection equipment. structure if the structure is safe to climb. appropriate for work on open-sided
Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(i) would The proposal lists examples illustrating platforms, where employees can walk
require work positioning equipment to when the structure would be unsafe to around the working surface with the
be inspected before use each day to climb without fall protection: the travel restricting equipment keeping
determine if the equipment is safe for presence of ice or high winds, structure them from approaching too close to an
use. (Paragraph (d)(21) of § 1926.502 designs that could cause the employee unguarded edge. The Agency does not
contains an equivalent requirement for to fall, and the presence of contaminants believe that this type of working surface
fall arrest equipment to be inspected on the structure that could cause the is found on poles, towers, or similar
before use.) This paragraph would employee to lose his or her grip or structures. Therefore, the inclusion of
prohibit defective equipment from being footing. travel restricting equipment in fall
used. This requirement helps ensure Two informational notes follow protection requirements for work
that the protective equipment in use proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iii) explain performed on these structures is
will, in fact, be able to protect certain aspects of the proposed inappropriate.26 OSHA invites
employees when called upon to do so. provision. The first note indicates that comments on whether or not travel
This requirement is equivalent to this requirement would not apply to restricting equipment should be
existing § 1926.951(b)(3), except that the portions of buildings, electric recognized in § 1926.954(b)(3)(iii) and
prohibition on the use of defective equipment, or aerial lifts. This note on whether or not electric power
equipment is stated explicitly rather refers to the relevant portion of the transmission and distribution structures
than being implied. A thorough construction standards that would apply contain open-sided platform-like
inspection of fall protection equipment in those instances (that is, Subpart M for working surfaces.
can detect such defects as cracked walking and working surfaces generally It should be noted that the conditions
snaphooks and D rings, frayed lanyards, and § 1926.453 for aerial lifts). The first listed in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) are not the
loose snaphook keepers, and bent note applies only to the ‘‘duty’’ only ones warranting the use of fall
buckles. A guide to the inspection of requirement in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) to protection. Other factors affecting the
this equipment is included in Appendix use fall protection equipment; it does risk of an employee’s falling include the
G. not apply to other fall protection level of competence of the employee,
Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(ii) would requirements in § 1926.954. the condition of a structure, the
require personal fall arrest systems to be The second note indicates that configuration of attachments on a
used in accordance with § 1926.502(d). employees who have not completed structure, and the need to have both
Personal fall arrest equipment is training in climbing or in the use of fall hands free for climbing. In fact, OSHA
sometimes used as work positioning protection equipment would not be believes that climbing without the use
equipment during electric power considered to be ‘‘qualified’’ for the of fall protection is only safe if the
transmission and distribution work. So purposes of paragraph (b)(3)(iii). These employee is using his or her hands to
that the employee can comfortably lean employees, who have not demonstrated hold onto the structure while he or she
into the body harness when the that they can safely climb structures is climbing. If the employee is not
equipment is used in this fashion, the without using fall protection, would holding onto the structure (for example,
normal attachment point would be at need fall protection anytime they are because the employee is carrying tools
waist level. Paragraph (d)(17) of more than 1.2 meters (4 feet) above the or equipment in his or her hands), fall
§ 1926.502 requires the attachment ground. protection is required under the final
point for body harnesses to be located Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iii), which rule. Video tapes entered into the
in the center of the employee’s back is comparable to existing § 1910.269 rulemaking record by EEI
near shoulder level or located above his § 1926.951(b)(1), is based on (269–Ex. 12–6),27 which they claimed
or her head. Such an attachment point § 1910.269(g)(2)(v). After analyzing the represented typical, safe climbing
would prevent the employee from extensive record built on fall protection practices in the utility industry,
performing his or her job. Therefore, during the § 1910.269 rulemaking, demonstrate employees using their
OSHA is proposing to exempt personal OSHA concluded that employees could hands to provide extra support and
fall arrest equipment used as work safely climb and change location on balance. Climbing in this manner will
positioning equipment from this poles, towers, and similar structures enable an employee to continue to hold
requirement, if the equipment is rigged without the use of fall protection onto the structure in case his or her foot
so that the maximum free fall distance equipment. OSHA has carried the slips. If the employee is not using his or
is 0.6 meters (2 feet). This exemption is general industry standard’s fall her hands for additional support, he or
proposed in paragraph (b)(3)(ii). protection requirements forward into she would be much more likely to fall
Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iii) would proposed Subpart V with two changes. as a result of a slip.
require the use of a personal fall arrest First, the term ‘‘fall arrest equipment’’ The general industry electric power
system or work positioning equipment has been changed to ‘‘personal fall arrest generation, transmission, and
to be used to protect employees working system’’ for consistency with other distribution standard, in
at elevated locations more than 1.2 OSHA fall protection standards (notably § 1910.269(g)(2)(v), requires the use of
meters (4 feet) above the ground on Part 1926, Subpart M). Second, and fall protection systems when work is
poles, towers, and similar structures if more significantly, OSHA is proposing performed at heights more than 1.2
other fall protection has not been to omit the use of travel restricting meters (4 feet) above the ground. The
provided. The term ‘‘similar structures’’ equipment as a recognized fall existing standards in Subpart M of Part
includes any structure that supports protection system for electric power
electric power transmission or transmission and distribution work. 26 OSHA is also proposing to omit the use of

distribution lines or equipment, such as OSHA originally proposed to recognize travel restricting equipment as an acceptable form
lattice substation structures and H-frame this equipment in § 1910.269(g)(2)(v); no of fall protection in § 1910.269(g)(2) for employees
working from poles, towers, and similar structures.
wood transmission structures. The use comments in the rulemaking record 27 Exhibits in the § 1910.269 rulemaking record
of fall protection equipment would not suggested leaving it out of the final (denoted as ‘‘269–Ex’’) can be found in Docket
be required while a qualified employee general industry standard. However, Number S–015.

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1926 require fall protection (usually in Shark,28 Pole Choker,29 or similar Subpart D standards should also apply
the form of guard rails) for situations devices) can be used as suitable during construction work. It should be
where employees are exposed to falls of anchorages, and on what alternative noted that OSHA has proposed a
more than 1.8 meters (6 feet). measures can be taken to protect revision of Subpart D of the General
Additionally, in existing employees. Industry Standards (April 10, 1990, 55
§ 1926.951(b)(1), OSHA requires fall Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(v) would FR 13401). The Agency requests
protection to be used by ‘‘employees require anchorages used with work comments on whether the proposed
working at elevated locations’’ without positioning equipment to be capable of incorporation of the general industry
specifying the height at which such sustaining at least twice the potential standard for fixed ladders is warranted,
protection would be necessary. The impact load of an employee’s fall or 13.3 especially in light of the proposed
Agency is proposing to retain the kN (3,000 lbf), whichever is greater. revision of Subpart D.
Subpart V requirement, but clarify it as This provision, which has been taken Paragraph (b) proposes requirements
requiring protection to be initiated at 1.2 from § 1926.502(e)(2), is intended to for special ladders and platforms used
meters (4 feet) to be consistent with ensure that an anchorage will not fail for electrical work. Because of the
§ 1910.269(g)(2)(v), which deals with when called upon to stop an employee’s nature of overhead line work and the
the same hazard. Comments are fall. It should be noted that, under limitations of structures available for
requested on whether or not the proposed paragraph (b)(3)(iv), the ladder support, OSHA is proposing to
§ 1910.269 distance of 1.2 meters (4 feet) employee is not required to be tied to exempt portable ladders and platforms
is appropriate for electric power an anchorage if one is not available. used on structures or on overhead lines
transmission and distribution In paragraphs (b)(3)(vi), OSHA is from the general provisions of
construction work. proposing that snaphooks on work §§ 1926.1053(b)(5)(i) and (b)(12), which
positioning equipment not be engaged deal with ladder support and
Work positioning equipment is placement. An example of these
to any of the following:
intended to be used with the employee (1) Webbing, rope, or wire rope; exempted ladders is a portable hook
leaning into it, with the equipment (2) Each other; ladder used by power line workers to
supporting the employee and keeping (3) A D ring to which another work on overhead power lines. These
him or her from falling. During work on snaphook or other connector is attached; ladders are hooked over the line or other
towers and horizontal members on poles (4) A horizontal lifeline; or support member and are lashed in place
(such as crossarms), however, the (5) Any object which is incompatibly at both ends to keep them steady while
employee sometimes stands or sits on a shaped or dimensioned in relation to employees are working from them.
structural member, and the work the snaphook such that unintentional To provide employees with protection
positioning equipment is not providing disengagement could occur by the that approximates that afforded by the
any support for the employee. In such connected object being able to depress ‘‘exempted’’ Subpart X provisions,
cases, the work positioning equipment the snaphook keeper and release itself. paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(4) would
is functioning more like personal fall These provisions, which have been apply to these special types of ladders
arrest equipment. OSHA has previously taken from § 1926.502(e)(8), prohibit and platforms. The proposed
concluded that body belts, which can be methods of attachment that are requirements provide that these special
used as part of work positioning considered unsafe because of the ladders and special platforms be
equipment, are not suitable for use as potential for accidental disengagement secured, specify the acceptable loads
part of a personal fall arrest system. of the snaphooks during use. and proper strength of this equipment,
Paragraph (e)(1) of § 1926.502 limits and provide that they be used only for
Section 1926.955, Ladders and the particular types of application for
the maximum free fall distance for work Platforms
positioning systems to 0.6 meters (2 which they are designed. (The ratings
feet). OSHA is adopting this same limit Proposed § 1926.955 addresses and design of this equipment are
in § 1926.954. However, in electric ladders and platforms. Paragraph (a) specified by the manufacturer and can
power transmission and distribution notes that requirements for portable usually also be found in standard
work, anchorages are not always ladders are contained in Subpart X of references, such as ASTM F 1564–95,
available. Many utility poles provide no the construction standards and apply to Standard Specification for Structure-
attachment points lower than the lowest work covered by Subpart V, except as Mounted Insulating Work Platforms for
crossarm. If an employee is working noted in proposed § 1926.955(b). This Electrical Workers. See Appendix E to
below the crossarm, there will be paragraph also proposes that the proposed Subpart V.) In the § 1910.269
nothing to which he or she can attach requirements for ladders in Subpart D of rulemaking, OSHA concluded that these
the work positioning equipment. The Part 1910 apply to fixed ladders used in alternative criteria provide for the safe
work positioning equipment is still electric power transmission and use of this special equipment, and the
providing a certain degree of fall distribution construction work. Fixed Agency is proposing to extend the
protection, even in this case. The ladders used in electric power application of these alternative criteria
equipment holds the employee in a transmission and distribution to work covered under Subpart V.
construction work are also considered In § 1926.955(c), OSHA is proposing
fixed work position and keeps him or
fixed ladders under Subpart D of the to prohibit the use of portable metal and
her from falling. Therefore, proposed
General Industry Standards when used other portable conductive ladders near
paragraph (b)(3)(iv) would require work
during normal maintenance activities. exposed energized lines or equipment.
positioning equipment to be rigged so
OSHA believes that the Part 1910, This paragraph addresses the hazard to
that the employee can free fall no more
employees of contacting energized lines
than 0.6 meters (2 feet), unless no 28 A Pole Shark is a device that uses jaws and a and equipment with conductive ladders.
anchorage is available. spur wheel to grip the pole and provide an However, in specialized high-voltage
OSHA requests comments on whether anchorage for climbing wood poles. work, the use of nonconductive ladders
29 A Pole Choker is a pole strap with an integrated
or not this requirement will provide could present a greater hazard to
choker strap. The choker strap is tightened against
sufficient protection for employees, on the pole to prevent the pole strap from sliding down employees than the use of conductive
what portable devices (such as a Pole the pole. ladders. In such situations, the

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clearances between live parts operating equipment and allows the frame of the DC Tr. 613). To stress the importance of
at differing voltages and between the generator to serve as the grounding the requirement proposed in paragraph
live parts and grounded surfaces are electrode (reference ground). Paragraph (d)(4), OSHA has included a note
large enough that it is relatively easy to (c)(4) would require the neutral following this paragraph stating that
maintain the minimum approach conductor to be bonded to the generator hydraulic lines without check valves
distances required by proposed frame. These proposed requirements are having a separation of more than 10.7
§ 1926.960(c)(1). Voltage is induced on based on existing § 1926.404(f)(3). meters (35 feet) between the oil
objects in the vicinity of these high- Proposed paragraph (d) would apply reservoir and the upper end of the
voltage lines. Using a conductive ladder to pneumatic and hydraulic tools. hydraulic system can promote the
can minimize the voltage differences Paragraph (d)(1) of § 1926.302 formation of a partial vacuum. Whether
between objects 30 within an employee’s requires hydraulic fluids to be fire or not a partial vacuum will result in the
reach, reducing the hazard to the resistant. Insulating hydraulic fluids are loss of insulating value and trigger the
employee. Therefore, the proposal not inherently fire resistant and need to take measures to prevent the
would require a conductive ladder to be additives that could make them fire formation of a partial vacuum will, of
used where an employer can resistant generally make the hydraulic course, depend on the voltage involved.
demonstrate that the use of a fluid unsuitable for use as insulation. Paragraphs (d)(6) and (d)(7) propose
nonconductive ladder would present a Because of this and because hydraulic work-practice requirements to protect
greater hazard. fluids must be insulating to protect employees from the accidental release of
employees performing power pressure and from injection of hydraulic
Section 1926.956, Hand and Portable transmission and distribution work, oil, which is under high pressure,
Power Tools existing § 1926.950(i) exempts through the skin and into the body. The
Proposed § 1926.956 addresses hand insulating hydraulic fluids from first of these two provisions would
and portable power tools, as stated in § 1926.302(d)(1). OSHA is proposing to require the release of pressure before
paragraph (a). Portable and vehicle- continue this exemption in connections in the lines are broken,
mounted generators supplying cord-and § 1926.956(d)(1). The Agency requests unless the quick-acting, self-closing
plug-connected equipment are also information on whether or not fire- connectors commonly found on tools
covered by this proposed section. These resistant insulating hydraulic fluids are are used. In the case of hydraulic tools,
requirements have been taken from available or are being developed. the spraying hydraulic fluid itself,
§ 1910.269(i). Existing Subpart V Safe operating pressures would be which is flammable, poses additional
contains requirements for hydraulic and required to be maintained by paragraph hazards. The other provision would
pneumatic tools in §§ 1926.950(i) and (d)(2). This protects employees from the prohibit employees from attempting to
1926.951(f). These requirements have harmful effects of tool failure. Of course, use their bodies in order to locate or
been retained in proposed if hazardous defects are present, no stop a hydraulic leak.
§ 1926.956(d). operating pressure would be safe, and Paragraph (d)(8) proposes that hoses
the tools could not be used. In the not be kinked. Kinks in hydraulic and
Electric tools connected by cord and
absence of defects, the maximum rated pneumatic hoses can lead to premature
plug would be required to meet
operating pressure (as specified by the failure of the hose and to sudden loss of
paragraph (b). If the equipment is
manufacturer or by standard references) pressure. If this loss of pressure occurs
supplied by the wiring of a building or
is the maximum safe pressure. A note to while the employee is using the tool, an
other premises, existing Subpart K of
this effect has been included in the accident could result.
Part 1926 would continue to apply,
proposed rule.
under proposed § 1926.956(b)(1), as it If a pneumatic or hydraulic tool is Section 1926.957, Live-Line Tools
does now. If premises wiring is not used where it may contact exposed Proposed § 1926.957 contains
involved (in which case Subpart K does energized parts, the tool would be requirements for live-line tools, some of
not currently apply), paragraph (b)(2) required to be designed and maintained which are commonly called ‘‘hot
would require that the tool frame be for such use (paragraph (d)(3)). sticks.’’ This type of tool is used by
grounded or that the tool be double Hydraulic systems for tools used near qualified employees to handle energized
insulated or that the tool be supplied by live parts would need to provide conductors. The tool insulates the
an isolating transformer with protection against the formation of a employee from the energized line,
ungrounded secondary. Any of these partial vacuum in the hydraulic line allowing the employee to safely perform
three methods can protect employees (paragraph (d)(4)). A pneumatic tool the task at hand. For example, a wire
from electric shock, which could would have to provide protection tong, a slender insulated pole with a
directly injure the employee or which against the accumulation of moisture in clamp on one end, is used to hold a
could cause an involuntary reaction the air supply (paragraph (d)(5)). These conductor at a distance while work is
leading to a secondary injury. Given the three requirements protect employees being performed. Common types of live-
widespread availability of double- from electric shock by restricting line tools include wire tongs, wire tong
insulated tools, OSHA requests current flow through hoses. supports, tension links, and tie sticks.
comments on whether the option If hydraulic tools are used so that the Paragraph (a) would require live-line
permitting tools to be supplied through highest point on the system is more than tools to be designed and constructed to
an isolating transformer is still 10.7 meters (35 feet) above the oil be able to withstand 100,000 V/ft if
necessary. reservoir, a partial vacuum can form made of fiberglass, 75,000 V/ft if made
Paragraph (c) of proposed § 1926.956 inside the line. This can lead to loss of of wood, or other equivalent tests. (The
would require that portable and vehicle- insulating value in tools used on high voltage per unit length varies with
mounted generators provide a means for voltage lines and to the failure of the material because the two different
grounding cord- and plug-connected system while the employee is working insulating materials are capable of
30 These voltages do not normally pose an
on the power line. During the withstanding different voltages over
electrocution hazard. However, the involuntary
rulemaking process on § 1910.269, the equal lengths. A higher design standard
muscular reactions from contacting objects at IBEW reported that two accidents for wood would cause most wood to fail
different voltages can lead to falls. resulted from such an occurrence (269– to meet the specification. A lower

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design specification would allow insulating value in using them to handle or (3) after the examination if the tool
substandard products into service. energized conductors (January 31, 1994, is solid FRP rod or foam-filled FRP tube,
Paragraph (a), which contains the design 59 FR 4378). The Agency believes that unless the employer could demonstrate
criteria for materials used in live-line the fact that live-line tools are not that the examination has revealed no
tools, is based on the capabilities of the typically used to provide protection for defects that could cause the tool to fail
materials in question.) Since the employees in the rain (when work is during use. The test method used would
withstand voltages are consistent with normally suspended) probably be required to be designed to verify the
those in existing § 1926.951(d), for accounted for the lack of injuries in the tool’s integrity along its full length and,
fiberglass tools, and with ASTM F 711– record. Regardless, live-line tools might if made of FRP, its integrity under wet
02, Standard Specification for be used under wet conditions,31 in conditions (paragraph (b)(3)(iv)). The
Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Rod which case it is important to ensure that test voltages would be 75 kV/ft for FRP
and Tube Used in Live-Line Tools (the these tools will retain their insulating and 50 kV/ft for wood, and the voltage
material comprising the insulating qualities when they are wet. In addition, would have to be applied for a
portion of a live-line tool), tools employee safety is dependent on the minimum of 1 minute (paragraph
complying with standards currently in insulating integrity of the tool—the (b)(3)(v)). Other equivalent tests are
use in the industry continue to be results of a failure of a live-line tool permitted. The proposed rule also
acceptable. A note to this effect is would almost certainly lead to serious includes a note referring to IEEE Std.
included after proposed injury or death whenever the tool is the 516–2003, which contains an excellent
§ 1926.957(a)(1). Together with the only insulating barrier between the guide to the inspection, care, and testing
minimum approach distances in employee and a live part. Therefore, of live-line tools.
§ 1926.960(c)(1), paragraph (a) of OSHA is proposing rules on the
Section 1926.958, Materials Handling
proposed § 1926.957 protects employees periodic examination and testing of live-
and Storage
from electric shock during use of these line tools.
tools. Although inspection can detect the Section 1926.958 proposes
Paragraph (b) addresses the condition presence of hazardous defects and requirements for materials handling and
of tools. The requirements proposed in contamination, the Agency is concerned storage. Paragraph (a) proposes that
this paragraph are intended to ensure about whether the daily inspections Subpart N of Part 1926 continue to
that live-line tools remain in a safe proposed in paragraph (b)(1) will, apply.
condition after they are put into service. indeed, detect these problems. In fact, Paragraph (b) addresses the storage of
Proposed paragraph (b)(1) would require referring to live-line tools that had failed materials in the vicinity of energized
live-line tools to be wiped clean and in use, a Georgia Power Company study lines and exposed parts of energized
visually inspected before each day’s use. submitted to the rulemaking record on equipment. Paragraph (b)(1) proposes
Wiping the tool removes surface § 1910.269 stated: ‘‘Under visual requirements for areas to which access
contamination that could lower the inspection all the sticks appeared to be is not restricted to qualified employees
insulating value of the tool. Inspecting relatively clean with no apparent only. In general, materials are not
the tool will enable the employer and surface irregularities [269–Ex. 60].’’ allowed to be stored within 3.05 meters
employee to discover any obvious These tools also passed a ‘‘dry’’ voltage (10 feet) of the lines or exposed parts of
defects that could also adversely affect test, but failed a ‘‘wet’’ test. While the equipment. This clearance distance
the insulating value of the tool. study further noted that the surface must be increased by 0.10 meters (4
If any contamination or defect that luster on the sticks had been reduced, inches) for every 10 kilovolts over 50
could lower the insulating value or that apparently the normal visual inspection kilovolts. The distance must also be
could adversely affect the mechanical alone was not able to detect such defects increased to account for the maximum
integrity of the live-line tool is present as the ones that caused these tools to sag and side swing of any conductor and
after the tool is wiped, it could be fail. to account for the use of material
discovered during the inspection, and To address these concerns, OSHA is handling equipment. Maintaining these
the tool would have to be removed from proposing requirements for the thorough clearances protects unqualified
service, as required by paragraph (b)(2). examination, cleaning, repair, and employees, who are not trained in the
This paragraph protects employees from testing of live-line tools on a periodic recognition and avoidance of the
the failure of live-line tools during use. basis. The tools would undergo this hazards involved, from contacting the
Tools removed from service would have process on a 2-year cycle and any time energized lines or equipment with
to be examined and tested under tools are removed from service on the materials being handled.
proposed paragraph (b)(3) before being However, the work practices these
basis of the daily inspection required by
returned to service. unqualified workers would employ in
§ 1926.957(b)(2). The proposed rule
The performance criteria given in handling material stored near energized
would first require a complete
paragraph (a) are intended to be ‘‘design lines are addressed by Subpart K of Part
examination of the hot stick (paragraph
standards’’ and are to be met at the time 1926. The general approach taken in the
(b)(3)(i)). After the examination, the tool
of manufacture. The test voltages and proposed revision of Subpart V is to
would have to be cleaned and waxed, or
length of time that they are applied provide safety-related work practices for
it would have to be repaired and
during the manufacturing process are qualified employees to follow when
refinished if necessary (paragraph
not appropriate for periodic retesting of they are performing electric power
(b)(3)(ii)). According to proposed
the hot sticks because the live-line tools transmission and distribution work.
§ 1926.957(b)(3)(iii), a test would also be
could sustain damage during the test. Safe work practices for unqualified
required: (1) After the tool has been
During the rulemaking on § 1910.269, repaired or refinished, regardless of its
employees are not addressed in
OSHA found that, although no injuries composition; (2) after the examination if
proposed Subpart V because these
related to the failure of a hot stick could the tool is made of wood or hollow FRP;
practices are already spelled out in
be found in the record, evidence did Subpart K of the construction standards
indicate that these tools have failed in 31 Neither the proposed rule nor § 1910.269 (see in particular § 1926.416 for work
use (without injury to employees) and prohibits use of live-line tools under wet performed near electric power circuits).
that employees do depend on their conditions. In addition, much of the work

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performed by unqualified employees emergency and so that there is sufficient unless the employer can demonstrate
near overhead power lines falls outside room to allow an employee to move the that no employee, including the
the scope of Subpart V. For example, materials without violating the operator, might be endangered. This
employees laying sewer lines or minimum approach distance. ensures that the operator will be at the
handling building materials on a controls if an emergency arises that
Section 1926.959, Mechanical
housing project are not performing necessitates moving the suspended load.
electric power transmission or For example, due to wind or unstable
distribution work, and their work Requirements for mechanical soil, the equipment might start to tip
operations would not be covered by equipment are proposed in § 1926.959. over. Having the operator at the controls
Subpart V. OSHA believes it is more Paragraph (a) proposes general ensures that corrective action can be
appropriate to address work practices requirements for mechanical equipment taken quickly enough to prevent an
used by unqualified employees working used in the construction of electric accident.
near overhead power lines in Subpart K, power transmission or distribution lines Paragraph (b) proposes requirements
because that is the standard in which and equipment. Paragraph (a)(1) serves for outriggers. Paragraph (b)(1) would
employers who are not involved in as a reminder that Subparts N and O of require vehicular equipment provided
electric power transmission or the construction standards contain with outriggers to be operated with the
distribution work would look to find pertinent requirements for the operation outriggers extended and firmly set as
requirements addressing electrical of mechanical equipment. However, two necessary for the stability of the
hazards. requirements for the operation of equipment in the particular
Paragraph (b)(2) proposes to regulate mechanical equipment near energized configuration involved. The stability of
the storage of materials in areas power lines are contained in those two the equipment in various configurations
restricted to qualified employees. If the subparts—§§ 1926.550(a)(15) and is normally provided by the
materials are stored where only 1926.600(a)(6)—that OSHA has manufacturer, but it can also be derived
qualified workers have access to them, determined not to apply to qualified through engineering analysis. This
the materials may be safely stored closer employees. (Under the proposed rule, paragraph also prohibits the outriggers
to the energized parts than 3.05 meters these two requirements would continue from being extended or retracted outside
(10 feet), providing these employees to apply to unqualified employees.) the clear view of the operator unless all
have sufficient room to perform their Proposed Subpart V contains employees are outside the range of
work. To ensure that enough room is appropriate requirements for the possible equipment motion. Where the
available, paragraph (b)(2) would operation of mechanical equipment by work area or terrain precludes the use
prohibit material from being stored in qualified employees near energized of outriggers, paragraph (b)(2) would
the working space around energized power lines and equipment. While the permit the operation of the equipment
lines or equipment. (See the discussion proposed Subpart V provisions would only within the maximum load ratings
of § 1926.966(b) for an explanation of allow qualified employees to operate as specified by the manufacturer for the
the proposed requirements for access equipment closer to energized lines and particular configuration without
and working space.) equipment than permitted by the two outriggers. These two paragraphs are
The working space about electric generic construction standards, the intended to help ensure the stability of
equipment is the clear space to be proposal also contains the relevant the equipment while loads are being
provided around the equipment to safeguards for protecting employees. handled and to prevent injuries caused
enable qualified employees to work on These safeguards include special by extending outriggers into employees.
the equipment. An employee enters this training for qualified employees Proposed paragraph (c) would require
space to service or maintain the electric (§ 1926.950(b)(2)) and the use of special mechanical equipment used to lift or
equipment. The minimum working safety procedures for such operations move lines or other material to be
space specifies the minimum distance (§ 1926.959(d)). Because of this, OSHA operated within its maximum load
an obstruction can be from the believes that the proposal will provide rating and other design limitations. It is
equipment. For example, if a more appropriate protection for electric important for mechanical equipment to
switchboard is installed in a cabinet power transmission and distribution be used within its design limitations so
into which an employee will enter, the workers than §§ 1926.550(a)(15) and that the lifting equipment does not fail
inside walls of the cabinet must provide 1926.600(a)(6). during use and so that employees are
a minimum working space to enable the Paragraph (a)(2) would require the not otherwise endangered.
employee to work safely within the critical safety components of Even in electric-utility operations,
cabinet. mechanical elevating and rotating contact with live parts through
The minimum approach distance to equipment to be inspected before use on mechanical equipment causes many
be maintained from a live part is the each shift. A thorough visual inspection fatalities each year. A sample of typical
limit of the space about the equipment would be required. It is not necessary to accidents involving the operation of
that a qualified employee is not disassemble equipment to perform this mechanical equipment near overhead
permitted to enter. The minimum visual inspection. The note following lines is given in Table IV–5. Industry
approach distance a qualified employee this paragraph describes what parts practice and existing rules in Subpart V
must maintain from an energized part OSHA considers to be critical safety of the construction standards require
(covered in proposed § 1926.960(c)(1)) is components, that is, any part whose aerial lifts and truck-mounted booms to
smaller than the working space that is failure would result in a free fall or free be kept away from exposed energized
required to be provided around the part. rotation of the boom. These parts are lines and equipment at distances greater
The employee must ‘‘enter’’ the working critical to safety because their failure than or approximately equal to those
space and still maintain the minimum would immediately pose serious proposed in Table V–2 (A–C Live-Line
approach distance. Materials must be hazards to employees. Work Minimum Approach Distance).
stored outside the working space so that Paragraph (a)(3) would prohibit the However, some contact with the
employees are not tempted to work on operator of an electric line truck from energized parts does occur during the
energized equipment in cramped leaving his or her position at the hundreds of thousands of operations
quarters if access is necessary in an controls while a load is suspended, carried out near overhead power lines

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each year. If the equipment operator is rather than simple coincidence, requirements are necessary for operating
distracted briefly or if the distances especially when the minimum approach mechanical devices near exposed
involved or the speed of the equipment distances are relatively small. Because energized lines. Paragraph (d) of
towards the line is misjudged, contact these types of contacts cannot be totally proposed § 1926.959 addresses this
with the lines is the expected result, avoided, OSHA believes that additional problem.

Number of fatalities

Type of equipment Grounded Type of Accident

Yes No ?

Boom Truck/Derrick Truck .. 9 2 .................... 7 Boom contact with energized line.

Pole contact with energized line.
Aerial lift .............................. 8 .................... 1 7 Boom contact with energized line.
Lower boom contact with energized line.
Employee working on deenergized line when upper
boom contaced energized line.
Winch on lift used on energized line arced to nearby
Vehicle ................................ 2 .................... 1 1 Line fell on vehicle.
Unknown type of vehicle and type of accident.

Total ............................. 19 2 2 15
Source: OSHA accident investigation data (269–Ex. 9–2 and 9–2A).

Proposed paragraph (d)(1) would to maintain specific minimum approach the mechanical equipment. For
require the minimum approach distances for the insulated portion of an example, an obstruction may block his
distances in Table V–2 through Table aerial lift operated by a qualified or her view of the clearance. An extra
V–6 to be maintained between the employee in the lift. It should be noted person would be required, by paragraph
mechanical equipment and the live that the employee must still maintain (d)(2), to observe the operation and give
parts while equipment was being the minimum approach distances warnings when the specified minimum
operated near exposed energized lines required in proposed § 1926.960(c)(1). approach distance is approached unless
or equipment. This provision would Paragraph (c)(1) of proposed § 1926.960 the employer could demonstrate that the
ensure that sufficient clearance is would still require the employee to minimum approach distance could be
provided between the mechanical maintain the required distance from accurately determined by the operator.
equipment and the energized part to conductive objects at potentials An aerial lift operator would not
prevent an electric arc from occurring different from that on which he or she normally need to judge the distance
and energizing the equipment. The is working, and proposed between objects that are relatively far
requirement to maintain a minimum § 1926.959(d)(1) would require the away. In most cases, an aerial lift
approach distance also lessens the conductive portions of the boom to operator is maintaining the minimum
chance that the mechanical equipment maintain the same distance from such approach distance from energized parts
will strike the lines and knock them to objects. It should also be noted that the relatively close to the employee, and it
the ground. insulating portion of the boom can be would be easy for the employee to stay
Aerial lifts are designed to enable an bridged by improper positioning of the far enough away. However, even an
employee to position himself or herself boom or by conductive objects aerial lift operator may have difficulty
at elevated locations with a high degree suspended from the aerial lift platform. maintaining the minimum approach
of accuracy. The aerial lift operator is in For example, the insulating portion of distances in certain circumstances.
the bucket next to the energized lines the boom will be bridged if it is resting Sometimes, congested configurations of
and can easily judge the approach against a grounded object, such as a overhead power lines may necessitate
distance. This minimizes the chance utility pole or if the employee in an maintaining clearance from more than
that the equipment will contact an aerial bucket is holding onto a one conductor at a time. Other times, an
energized line and that the energized grounding jumper. For the purposes of aerial lift operator may need to judge the
line will be struck down should contact proposed § 1926.959(d)(1), OSHA would distance between the lower uninsulated
actually occur. Furthermore, the not consider the aerial lift to be portion of the boom and a conductor
employee operating the lift in the bucket insulated when the insulation is well below the employee. In situations
would be protected from the hazards of bridged. like these, where the minimum
contacting the live parts under the Determining the distance between approach distance may be difficult for
provisions of § 1926.960. As the aerial objects that are themselves relatively far an aerial lift operator to maintain, an
lift is insulated, employees on the away from a mechanical equipment observer would be required.
ground are protected from electric shock operator standing on the ground can Proposed paragraph (d)(3) would
in the case of contact with the lines. sometimes be difficult. For example, require one of three alternative
Lastly, proposed § 1926.959(c) and other different perspectives can lead to protective measures to be taken if the
provisions would protect against the different estimates of the distance, and equipment could become energized. The
possibility that the aerial lift would lack of a suitable reference can result in first option (paragraph (d)(3)(i)) is for
strike down the power line. Therefore, errors. In addition, an operator may not the energized lines exposed to contact to
proposed paragraph (d)(1) would be in the best position to observe the be covered with insulating protective
provide an exception to the requirement clearance between an energized part and material that will withstand the type of

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contact that might be made during the employers and employees that explain appropriate means are. Additionally,
operation. The second option the various measures and how they can even if the line or equipment has been
(paragraph (d)(3)(ii)) is for the be used. A note referencing this tested and found to be deenergized, it
equipment to be insulated for the appendix has been included in the may become reenergized through
voltage involved. Under this option, the proposal. contact with another source of electric
mechanical equipment would have to be energy or by someone reenergizing it at
Section 1926.960, Working on or Near
positioned so that uninsulated portions its points of control. Proposed section
Exposed Energized Parts
of the equipment could not come within 1926.961 contains requirements for
the specified minimum approach Proposed § 1926.960 covers the deenergizing electric power
distance of the line. The third option hazards of working on or near exposed transmission and distribution lines and
(paragraph (d)(3)(iii)) is for each parts of energized lines or equipment as equipment. Unless the procedures
employee to be protected from the noted in paragraph (a). The provisions contained in that section have been
hazards that might arise from equipment of this section have been taken from followed, lines and equipment cannot
contact with the energized lines. The § 1910.269(l). reliably be considered as deenergized.
measures used would have to ensure Paragraph (b) proposes general Proposed paragraph (b)(2) has been
that employees would not be exposed to requirements for working on or near live taken from the last sentence of the
hazardous differences in potential. (The parts. Paragraph (b)(1) would require introductory text of § 1910.269(l)(1).
following paragraphs describe the types employees working on or with exposed Two-person rule. If an employee
of measures that must be taken. The live parts (at any voltage) of electric
working on or near energized electric
employer must take all of these lines or equipment and employees
power transmission or distribution lines
measures unless he or she can working in areas containing unguarded,
or equipment is injured by an electric
demonstrate that the methods in use uninsulated live parts operating at more
shock, a second employee will be
protect each employee from the hazards than 50 volts to be qualified. Without
needed to provide emergency care to the
that might arise if the equipment proper training in the construction and
injured employee. As noted under the
contacts the energized line.) The operation of the lines and equipment
summary and explanation of
proposal is intended to protect and in the electrical hazards involved,
§ 1926.951(b)(1) discussed earlier in this
employees from electric shock in case workers would likely be electrocuted
preamble, CPR must begin within 4
contact is made. attempting to perform this type of work
and would also expose others to injury, minutes after an employee loses
On the basis of the § 1910.269 consciousness as a result of an electric
rulemaking record, OSHA concluded as well. In areas containing unguarded
live parts energized at more than 50 shock. OSHA is proposing to require the
that vehicle grounding alone could not presence of a second employee during
always be depended upon to provide volts, untrained employees would not
be familiar with the practices that are certain types of work on or near electric
sufficient protection against the hazards power transmission or distribution lines
of mechanical equipment contact with necessary to recognize and avoid
contact with these parts. or equipment to ensure that CPR begins
energized power lines (January 31, 1994, as soon as possible and to help ensure
59 FR 4403). On the other hand, the The definition of ‘‘qualified
employee’’ contains a note to indicate that it starts within the 4-minute
Agency recognized the usefulness of window. (Note that § 1926.951(b)(1)
grounding as a protective measure that employees who are undergoing on-
the-job training are considered to be would require at least two people
against electric shock, when used with trained in emergency first aid
all of the following techniques: qualified if they have demonstrated an
ability to perform duties safely and if procedures, including CPR, for field
(1) Using the best available ground to
they are under the immediate work involving two or more employees
minimize the time the lines remain
supervision of qualified employees. (See at a work location. Also, note that, in
(2) Bonding equipment together to the definition of this term in proposed the discussion of that proposed
minimize potential differences, § 1926.968 and the discussion of this paragraph, OSHA is requesting
(3) Providing ground mats to extend definition under the summary and comments on whether to require AEDs
areas of equipotential, and explanation of § 1926.968.) Therefore, along with training in CPR.)
(4) Using insulating protective employees in training, under the direct Paragraph (b)(3)(i) of proposed
equipment or barricades to guard supervision of a qualified employee, § 1926.960 would require (unless
against any remaining hazardous would be permitted to perform work on exempted by paragraph (b)(3)(ii)) the
potential differences. live parts and in areas containing presence of at least two employees
The proposed rule recognizes all these unguarded live parts. OSHA believes during the following types of work
techniques, which (1) minimize that the close supervision of trainees involving exposed energized parts:
differences in potential, (2) minimize will reveal errors ‘‘in the act,’’ before (1) Installation, removal, or repair of
the time employees would be exposed they cause accidents. Allowing these lines that are energized at more than 600
to hazardous potentials, and (3) protect workers the experience of performing volts,
against any remaining hazardous tasks under actual conditions may also (2) Installation, removal, or repair of
potentials. Paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of better prepare the employees to work deenergized lines if an employee is
proposed § 1926.959 contains the safely. exposed to contact with other parts
performance-oriented requirement that Paragraph (b)(2) would require lines energized at more than 600 volts,
would assure that employees are and equipment to be considered as (3) Installation, removal, or repair of
protected from the hazards that could energized unless they have been equipment, such as transformers,
arise if the equipment contacts the deenergized under the provisions of capacitors, and regulators, if an
energized parts. The protective § 1926.961. Existing § 1926.950(b)(2) employee is exposed to contact with
measures used would be required to requires electric lines and equipment to parts energized at more than 600 volts,
ensure that employees are not exposed be considered as energized until (4) Work involving the use of
to hazardous differences in potential. determined to be deenergized by tests or mechanical equipment, other than
Information in Appendix C to proposed other appropriate means. The existing insulated aerial lifts, near parts
Subpart V provides guidelines for standard does not spell out what those energized at more than 600 volts, and

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(5) Other work that exposes an possible for reasons of public safety. to mitigate the hazards so that the work
employee to electrical hazards greater The proposal, in § 1926.960(b)(3)(ii), could be performed safely. For example,
than or equal to those posed by these recognizes this type of work by granting the employer could provide supple-
operations. exceptions to the two-person rule for the mental lighting for work performed
This rule is based on following operations: where lighting was inadequate.
§ 1910.269(l)(1)(i). The first four work (1) Routine switching of circuits, if
The requirement for at least two
operations are those that expose the employer can demonstrate that
employees to be present during certain
employees to the greatest risk of electric conditions at the site allow this work to
operations does not apply generally if
shock as demonstrated by the be performed safely,
§ 1910.269 rulemaking record. OSHA (2) Work performed with live-line the voltage of the energized parts
has included the fifth category to cover tools if the employee is positioned so involved is 600 volts or less. The
types of work that, while not that he or she is not within reach of or § 1910.269 rulemaking record contained
specifically identified in that record, exposed to contact with energized parts, conflicting data regarding the safety of
pose equal or greater hazards. The and performing work at these voltages. Some
operations covered under (3) Emergency repairs to the witnesses and commenters said that it
§ 1910.269(l)(1)(i) are performed during minimum extent necessary to safeguard was safe to perform such work, but the
construction as well as during the general public. data in the rulemaking record suggested
maintenance. In fact, the construction These exceptions are based on that may not be true (269-Ex. 9–2). More
operations are similar in nature to those § 1910.269(l)(1)(ii). OSHA intends for recent accident data indicate little
performed during maintenance work, these exceptions to be applied narrowly change. Table IV–6 shows the number of
and the Agency believes that the in view of the accidents that have electrocutions for various voltage ranges
hazards are the same. For example, occurred even under these limited for the years 1991 through 1998. In the
using mechanical equipment near a conditions (269–Ex. 9–2). For example, years 1991 to 1994, an average of 3.0
7200-volt overhead power line during accidents involving hot stick work have fatalities occurred per year involving
the construction of a new line poses typically occurred only when the voltages of 600 volts or less. For the
hazards that are equivalent to those employee was using a live-line tool but years 1995 to 1998, when § 1910.269
posed during the use of mechanical was close enough to energized parts to was fully in effect, the average dropped
equipment to replace a damaged pole on be injured—sometimes through direct slightly to 2.5. Consequently, OSHA is
an existing line of the same voltage. contact, other times by contact through requesting comments regarding the
Similarly, the installation of a new conductors being handled. Employees safety of employees working on lines
transformer near a 14.4-kilovolt line have been injured during switching and equipment operating at 600 volts or
poses the same hazards as the operations when unusual conditions, less. What types of work can be
replacement of a transformer near a such as poor lighting, bad weather, and performed safely by an employee
14.4-kilovolt line. Thus, OSHA is hazardous configuration or state of working alone? What additional
proposing to extend the general industry repair of the switching equipment, were precautions are necessary for an
requirement to construction. present. Paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(A) employee working on lines or
However, some work can be addresses this scenario by requiring the equipment operating at 600 volts or less
performed safely by a single employee employer to demonstrate that the to make the work safe without the
or must be performed as quickly as operation can be performed in a manner presence of a second employee?


Less than 600 V to 20 100kV and
Year 20 to 80 kV
600 V kV higher

1991 ................................................................................................................................. 3 24 2 1
1992 ................................................................................................................................. 5 24 2 0
1993 ................................................................................................................................. 3 23 3 1
1994 ................................................................................................................................. 1 21 2 2
1995 ................................................................................................................................. 2 22 4 5
1996 ................................................................................................................................. 4 16 0 2
1997 ................................................................................................................................. 1 16 3 1
1998 ................................................................................................................................. 3 13 0 1
Source: OSHA database of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution accidents. These data include only cases involving electro-
cution in which the voltage was indicated in the accident abstract.

Minimum approach distances. For very brief periods, the instantaneous gap that must be present so that an arc
Paragraph (c)(1) of proposed § 1926.960 voltage on a line can be 3 or more times does not occur during the most severe
would require employees to maintain its nominal value. overvoltage on a system. This gap is the
minimum approach distances from The safe minimum approach distance electrical component of the minimum
exposed energized parts. The minimum is intended to assure that an electric arc approach distance. To determine the
approach distances are specified in will not form, even under the most minimum safe approach distance,
Table V–2 through Table V–6. This severe transient overvoltages that can OSHA must then add an extra distance
provision has been taken from occur on a system and even if the to account for ergonomic
§ 1910.269(l)(2). employee makes foreseeable errors in considerations, or human error.
Electric power systems operate at a maintaining the minimum approach The electrical component depends on
given nominal voltage. However, the distance. To determine what this five factors:
actual voltage on a power line varies distance is for a given voltage, OSHA (1) The maximum voltage,
above and below that nominal voltage. must first determine the size of the air (2) The wave shape of this voltage,

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(3) The configuration of the ranges inclusive of 72.6 KV to 800 KV. distance. For example, employees
‘‘electrodes’’ forming the end points of All tables were to be established using planning a job to replace spacers on a
the gap, the higher voltage of each separate 500-kV overhead power line can use an
(4) The insulating medium in the gap, voltage range. envelope (or bounds) of anticipated
and Relevant data related to the movement for the job and ensure that
(5) The atmospheric conditions determination of the ergonomic the work procedure they use keeps this
present. component of the minimum approach envelope entirely outside the minimum
The NESC subcommittee having distance include a typical arm’s reach of approach distance. All the employees’
responsibility for the ANSI C–2 about 610 millimeters (2 feet) and a movements during the job would be
minimum approach distance tables reaction time to a stimulus of 0.2 to kept within the envelope. Additionally,
adopted a change in minimum approach more than 1.0 second (269–Ex. 8–19). exposure to conductors at a potential
distances for the 1993 edition of the To prevent an employee from breaching different from the one on which work is
National Electrical Safety Code. The the air gap required for the electrical being performed is limited or
NESC subcommittee developed the component, the ergonomic distance nonexistent. This is because the
minimum approach distance tables must be sufficient for the employee to distance between conductors is much
using the following principles: be able to recognize a hazardous greater than the distance between
• ANSI/IEEE Standard 516 32 was to approach to an energized line and conductors at lower voltages and
be the electrical basis of the NESC Rules withdraw to a safe position. Thus, the because higher voltage systems do not
for approach distances: Table 4 distance should equal the response time present the types of congestion that are
(Alternating Current) and Table 5 multiplied by the average speed of an commonly found on lower voltage
(Direct Current) for voltages above 72.5 employee’s movement plus ‘‘braking’’ systems. Therefore, a smaller ergonomic
KV. Lower voltages were to be based on distance. (This is comparable to the component is appropriate for the higher
ANSI/IEEE Standard 4. The application calculation of total braking distance for voltages. The NESC subcommittee
of ANSI/IEEE Standard 516 was a motor vehicle. This distance equals accepted a value of 0.31 meters (1 foot)
inclusive of the formula used by that the initial speed of the vehicle times the for this component. OSHA has adopted
standard to derive electrical clearance driver’s reaction time plus the braking this distance as well. Therefore, for
distances. distance for the vehicle itself after the voltages over 72.5 kV, the minimum
• Altitude correction factors were to brakes have been applied.) The approach distances proposed in
be in accordance with ANSI/IEEE maximum reach (or range of movement) § 1926.960 adopt the electrical
Standard 516, Table 1. may place an upper bound on the component of the minimum approach
• The maximum design transient ergonomic component, however. distance plus an ergonomic component
overvoltage data to be used in the For system voltages up to 72.5 kV, of 0.31 meters (1 foot).
development of the basic approach phase-to-phase, much of the work is The ergonomic component of the
distance tables were: performed using rubber gloves, and the
• 3.0 per unit for voltages of 362 minimum approach distance is only
employee is working within arm’s reach considered a safety factor that protects
KV and less of energized parts. The ergonomic
• 2.4 per unit for 500 to 550 KV employees in case of errors in judging
component of the minimum approach and maintaining the full minimum
• 2.0 per unit for 765 to 800 KV
• All phase-to-phase values were to distance must account for this since the approach distance, so that the employee
be calculated from the EPRI employee may not have time to react does not breach the electrical
Transmission Line Reference Book for and position himself or herself out of component of the minimum approach
115 to 138 KV. danger. A distance of 610 millimeters (2 distance. The actual working position
• An inadvertent movement factor feet) for the ergonomic component selected must account for the full range
(ergonomic component) intended to appears to meet this criterion and was, of movements that could normally be
account for errors in judging the in fact, adopted by the NESC anticipated 33 while an employee is
approach distance was to be added to all subcommittee. OSHA also accepts this working. Otherwise, the employee
basic electrical approach distances value. Therefore, for voltages of 751 V would violate the minimum approach
(electrical component) for all voltage to 72.5 kV, the minimum approach distance while he or she is working.
ranges. A distance of 0.31 meters (1 foot) distances proposed in § 1926.960 adopt The design of electric power circuits
was to be added to all voltage ranges. the electrical component of minimum over 72.5 kV sometimes does not
An additional 0.3 meters (1 foot) was to approach distance plus an ergonomic provide sufficient clearance between
component of 0.61 meters (2 feet). energized parts at different potential or
be added to voltage ranges below 72.6
For operations involving lines between energized parts and grounded
energized at voltages over 72.5 kV, the
• The voltage reduction allowance for surfaces to permit employees to
applicable work practices change. maintain the base minimum approach
controlled maximum transient
Generally, live-line tools are employed distances given in proposed Table V–2.
overvoltage was to be such that the
to perform the work while equipment is The Agency has adopted the approach
minimum allowable approach distance
energized. These tools hold the of the NESC subcommittee in the
was not less than the given approach
energized part at a fixed distance from proposal to permit work on such
distance specified for the highest
the employee, ensuring that the systems so long as additional measures
voltage of the given range.
minimum approach distance is
• The transient overvoltage tables are taken to reduce the required
maintained during the work operation.
were to be applied only at voltage minimum approach distance. Proposed
Even when hot sticks are not used, as
32 ANSI/IEEE Std. 516–1987 (the edition in effect during live-line bare-hand work, 33 Anticipated movements include those

when the NESC subcommittee revised the employees use work methods that more necessary to perform the work as well as
minimum approach distances) listed values for the tightly control their movements than ‘‘unexpected’’ movements that an employee could
electrical component of the minimum approach when they perform rubber glove work, reasonably be anticipated to perform, such as
distance, both for air alone as an insulating medium adjusting his or her hard hat, clothing, or
and for live-line tool sticks in air, that were
and it is usually easier to plan ahead of equipment. See Appendix B to Subpart V for a
accepted as being accurate when the standard was time how to keep employees from discussion of the selection of working position with
adopted (by IEEE) in 1987. violating the minimum approach respect to minimum approach distances.

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Table V–3, Table V–4, and Table V–5 As noted earlier, proposed Table V–3 from ‘‘exposed’’ energized parts.
recognize the use of gaps and other through Table V–5 permit reduced Guarded live parts, whether they are
means of decreasing the surge factor on minimum approach distances for guarded by enclosures or barriers or are
energized lines as acceptable methods of systems having known maximum guarded by position (isolated), are not
reducing the required minimum transient overvoltages. These tables are addressed by this requirement as they
approach distance.34 These tables list based on Table R–7 through Table R–9 would not be considered ‘‘exposed.’’
minimum approach distances for of § 1910.269. Including language exempting live parts
various surge factors and phase-to-phase The minimum approach distances that are ‘‘guarded’’ or ‘‘isolated’’ would
voltages. proposed in Subpart V for voltages over be redundant and could lead to
The proposal thus provides smaller 750 volts are intended to provide a misinterpretation of the rule.
minimum approach distances for sufficient gap between the worker and Additionally, similar redundancies in
systems with surge factors that are the line so that current could not arc to paragraphs (c)(1)(ii) and (iii) of
limited by means such as system design, the employee under the most adverse § 1926.950 have not been carried
switching controls, and temporary transient voltage that could be imposed forward into paragraphs (c)(1)(ii) and
protective gaps. Frequently, built-in or on the line, plus an extra amount for (c)(1)(iii) of proposed § 1926.960. To
temporary limits on the surge factor on inadvertent movement on the part of the clarify the rule, however, a note has
a system can result in a minimum employee. The electrical component of been included following paragraph
approach distance that is small enough these distances is based on scientific (c)(1)(iii) to indicate that parts of electric
to permit work to be performed without and engineering test data, and the circuits meeting paragraph (f)(1) of
additional protective measures. Because ergonomic component is based on the § 1926.966 are not considered as
the line worker cannot determine surge conditions likely to be present for the ‘‘exposed’’ unless a guard is removed or
factors at the jobsite, surge factor different types of work to be performed an employee enters the space intended
reduction is permitted only when the on electric power generation, to provide isolation from the live parts.
employer can demonstrate, through transmission, and distribution circuits. Proposed § 1926.960(c)(1)(i) contains
engineering analysis, that the possible By contrast, the minimum approach the first exception to maintaining the
surges on the line will be held to values distances in existing Subpart V were minimum approach distances—
no more than permitted under Table V– based on standard industry practice in insulating the employee from the
3, Table V–4, and Table V–5. Methods effect in 1972, when that standard was energized part. This insulation, for
of controlling and determining the surge promulgated. OSHA believes that the example, can take the form of rubber
factor for a system are given in proposed minimum approach distances, insulating gloves and rubber insulating
Appendix B to proposed Subpart V. which are based on sound engineering sleeves. This equipment protects the
OSHA accepted the principles principles, will provide significantly employee from electric shock as he or
adopted by the NESC subcommittee in better protection for employees than the she works on the line or equipment.
forming the minimum approach existing standard. Even though uninsulated parts of the
Table R–6 in existing § 1910.269 employee’s body may come closer to the
distance tables in final § 1910.269.
specifies ‘‘avoid contact’’ as the live part being worked on than would
OSHA reviewed the technical
minimum approach distance for otherwise be permitted by Table V–2
information supporting the
voltages between 50 and 1,000 volts. To through Table V–6, the employee’s hand
subcommittee’s action and found that
make the proposal consistent with ANSI and arm would be insulated from the
the data justify the NESC criteria. After
C2, OSHA is proposing to adopt live part, and the working distances
the adoption of final § 1910.269, the
minimum approach distances of 0.31 involved would be sufficient protection
NESC Committee issued a tentative
meters (1 foot) for voltages between 301 against arc-over. As noted earlier, the
interim amendment correcting some
volts and 750 volts and 0.65 meters (2 minimum approach distance tables
errors in calculating the minimum
feet, 2 inches) for voltages between 751 include a component for inadvertent
approach distances published in ANSI
volts and 15 kilovolts. This increase in movement, which is unnecessary for
C2–1993. The same minimum approach
the minimum approach distance at the employees using rubber insulating
distances are contained in the latest
lower voltages should help prevent equipment. In the worst case situation,
edition of that standard, ANSI C2–2002.
employees from contacting circuit parts an employee would be working on a
In Table V–2 through Table V–6, OSHA
energized at these still dangerous line requiring a 0.84-meter (2-foot, 9-
is proposing to adopt the NESC
levels.36 inch) minimum approach distance. The
minimum approach distances, as
The proposal allows employees to electrical component of this minimum
corrected.35 The Agency believes that
come closer than the minimum approach distance is 0.23 meters (9
this will protect employees from all
approach distance to energized parts inches).37 The distance from the hand to
likely exposure conditions.
under certain conditions, as listed in the elbow is about 0.3 meters (1 foot),
Proposed Table V–5 contains
proposed § 1926.960(c)(1)(i) through and it would be nearly impossible to
minimum approach distances for d-c
(c)(1)(iii). Existing § 1926.950(c)(1)(i), work closer than this distance to a line
voltages between 250 and 750 kilovolts,
from which proposed § 1926.960(c)(1)(i) being held in the hand. Therefore, the
nominal. These distances have been
has been taken, permits the employee to employee would be about 0.3 meters (1
taken directly from Table R–9 of
be insulated, guarded, or isolated from foot) away from the conductor at a
§ 1910.269. Since systems of d-c
the live parts. The language specifically minimum, and, thus, in the worst case
voltages other than those listed are rare,
recognizing guarding and isolation has would still be more than the electrical
no distances were presented for them in
been omitted from the proposal.
the table.
However, it should be noted that the 37 The minimum approach distance for 36.1 to

introductory language in final 46.0 kV, the highest voltage range that can be
34 The decreased surge factor reduces the
§ 1926.960(c)(1) requires minimum worked using rubber insulating gloves, is 0.84
maximum transient voltage on the line and thus meters (2 feet, 9 inches). The electrical component
reduces the electrical component of the minimum approach distances to be maintained of the minimum approach distance is the minimum
approach distance. approach distance minus the ergonomic
35 OSHA is also proposing to make similar 36 OSHA is also proposing to make similar component, 0.65 meters (2 feet), which equals 0.23
changes to § 1910.269. changes to § 1910.269. meters (9 inches).

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34864 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules

component of the minimum approach conductive objects other than the live extensive use of insulating equipment to
distance from the conductor. This part upon which work is to be cover energized parts in the employee’s
would protect the employee from performed. Much of the work performed work area would also appear to prevent
sparkover. In any event, the accident under this option is called ‘‘live-line employees’ upper arms and shoulders
data in the record show that the bare-hand’’ work. (For specific practices from contacting live parts (269-Ex. 46).
overriding hazard to employees is posed for this type of work, see the discussion In fact, if every energized part within
by other energized conductors in the of proposed § 1926.964(c).) In this type reach of an employee was insulated,
work area, to which the minimum of work, the employee is in contact with electrical contacts involving other parts
approach distances still apply. The the energized line, like a bird on a wire, of the body, such as an employee’s head
rubber gloves, of course, provide but is not contacting another conductive or back, would be averted as well. The
protection only for the line on which object at a different potential. Because NESC subcommittee on work rules also
work is being performed. there is no complete circuit, current recognized this method as providing
It is important to ensure that cannot flow through the worker, and he protection to employees.
conductors on which the employee is or she is protected. Existing Subpart V does not require
working cannot move unexpectedly Paragraph (c)(1) requires employees to any protection for employees working
while the employee is protected against maintain minimum approach distances on or near exposed live parts beyond the
contact only by rubber insulating gloves from ‘‘exposed’’ energized parts, except use of rubber insulating gloves. To
and sleeves. It would be considered a as noted above. A note following prevent the types of accidents described
violation of the minimum approach paragraph (c)(1)(iii) clarifies that parts of above from occurring in the future, the
distance requirement proposed in electric circuits meeting paragraph (f)(1) Agency has decided to require
§ 1926.960(c)(1) for an employee to be of § 1926.966 are not considered as protection in addition to that required
insulated from an energized part only by ‘‘exposed’’ unless a guard is removed or by existing Subpart V.
rubber insulating gloves and sleeves if an employee enters the space intended The proposal includes a provision,
the part is not under the full control of to provide isolation from the live parts. § 1926.960(c)(2)(i), that would require
the employee at all times. OSHA is Several accidents occurred when the use of rubber insulating sleeves (in
making this explicit in the parenthetical employees working from aerial lifts, addition to rubber insulating gloves),
text in proposed § 1926.960(c)(1)(i) (and either insulated or uninsulated, grabbed unless live parts that could contact an
also in proposed § 1910.269(l)(2)(i)). For an energized conductor. OSHA is employee’s upper arm or shoulder are
example, if an employee were cutting a concerned that some employers may insulated. Employees would be able to
conductor, that conductor would either believe that this practice is safe without work without sleeves by installing
need to be restrained from moving following the procedures outlined in rubber line hose, rubber blankets, and
toward the employee after being cut or proposed § 1926.964(c) on live-line plastic guard equipment on energized
additional insulation would have to be bare-hand work. OSHA requests equipment. However, an employee
used to protect the conductor from comments on whether or not the installing such protective equipment on
striking uninsulated parts of the proposed rule will adequately protect energized lines would have to wear
employee’s body. employees from this type of accident rubber sleeves unless his or her upper
The insulation used would have to be and on what additional requirements, if arms and shoulders are not exposed to
designed for the voltage. (Proposed new any, are needed to prevent this type of contact with other live parts during this
§ 1926.97 gives use voltages for accident. operation.
electrical protective equipment.) As a According to testimony in the OSHA believes that paragraph (c)(2)(i)
clarification, paragraph (c)(1)(i) notes § 1910.269 rulemaking, between five incorporates the most effective approach
that the insulation is considered as and six percent of accidents to preventing accidents involving work
protection only against parts upon experienced by power line workers were on or near exposed live parts.
which work is being performed; the caused when the upper arm of an Several accidents have occurred while
required minimum approach distances employee wearing rubber insulating employees were performing work
would have to be maintained from other (generally on deenergized lines) near
gloves without sleeves contacted an
exposed energized parts. energized parts without using rubber
energized part (269-DC Tr. 558–561).38
As a second exception to maintaining insulating equipment. Because the
This is a significant portion of the total
the minimum approach distances, employees were concentrating on their
number of serious accidents occurring
paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of proposed work, which did not involve the
among electric line workers. The
§ 1926.960 allows the energized part to energized parts, the employees did not
Agency believes that these injuries and
be insulated from the employee. Such pay attention to the distance between
fatalities are clearly preventable.
insulation could be in the form of them and the energized parts and
The use of rubber insulating sleeves
insulating blankets or line hose or other violated the minimum approach
would certainly have prevented most of
suitable insulating equipment. Again, distance. When OSHA cited the
these accidents. However, as
the insulation would have to be employers for violations of existing
demonstrated by the safety record of
adequate for the voltage. § 1926.950(c), the employers
some electric utility companies, the
Paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (c)(1)(ii) successfully argued that the standard
recognize the protection afforded to the 38 OSHA believes that most, if not all, of these permits employees to work near
employee by an insulating barrier accidents involved contact with conductors and energized parts without the use of
between the employee and the equipment other than the one on which the electrical protective equipment, as long
energized part. As long as the insulation employee had been working. It would be very as they maintain the minimum
unlikely that an employee would touch his upper
is appropriate and is in good condition, arm or shoulder against the part on which he or she
approach distance involved. They
current will not flow through the was working with his or her hands. On the other further argued that, because they require
worker, and he or she is protected. hand, it would be more likely that the employee their employees to maintain these
The third exception (paragraph touched his or her upper arm or shoulder against distances and because their employees
a different live part than the one on which he or
(c)(1)(iii)) to the maintenance of the she is working. The employee’s attention would be
have been trained, the accidents were a
minimum approach distances is to on the live part on which work is being performed result of unpreventable employee
insulate the employee from exposed but might not be on other nearby live parts. misconduct. (See, for example, Central

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Kansas Power Co., Inc., 6 OSHC (BNA) equipment once he or she reaches the important for the employee to take a
2118, 1978 WL 6886 (No. 77–3127, work position. Other employers simply working position so that such an event
1978).) require their employees to put their will not increase the severity of any
OSHA does not believe that working gloves and sleeves on before they enter incurred injury. This proposed
very close to, but not on, energized parts the energized area. This practice requirement was taken from
without the use of electrical protective normally requires the employee to use § 1910.269(l)(3). There is no counterpart
equipment is a safe practice. The his or her judgment in determining to this requirement in existing Subpart
Agency further believes that § 1910.269, where to begin wearing the protective V.
which also allows this practice, is not equipment. The proposal recognizes The Agency believes that it is
effective in preventing these accidents both methods of protecting employees, important for an employee to work from
and has concluded that further but ensures that the rubber gloves and a position where a slip or a shock will
regulation is warranted. Toward this sleeves are being worn once the not bring him or her into contact with
end, OSHA has gone beyond § 1910.269 employee reaches a position from which an energized part unless other
by proposing two additional he or she can reach into the minimum conditions, such as the configuration of
requirements:39 approach distance. The Agency requests the lines involved, would make another
(1) If work is performed near exposed comments on the need for this working position safer. The position
parts energized at more than 600 volts requirement and on whether or not the taken must be the most protective
but not more than 72.5 kilovolts and if provision as proposed will protect available to accomplish the task. In
the employee is not insulated from the employees from the hazards involved. certain situations, this work position
energized parts or performing live-line Proposed paragraph (d)(2) would may not be the most efficient one. The
bare-hand work, the employee would ensure that an employee who is not language proposed in § 1926.960(d)(1)
have to work from a position where the insulated from parts energized between recognizes situations that preclude
employee would not be able to reach 600 volts and 72.5 kilovolts is working working from a position from which a
into the minimum approach distance at a safe distance from the parts. This slip would bring the employee into
(proposed § 1926.960(d)(2)), and provision does not apply to voltages of contact with a live part. The language
(2) If the employee is to be insulated 600 volts and less to permit work on contained in this provision also allows
from energized parts by the use of equipment without requiring the such options as guarding or insulating
insulating gloves or insulating gloves employee to cover energized parts the live part as alternative means of
with sleeves, the insulating gloves and unnecessarily. Much of the work compliance.
sleeves would have to be put on and performed at these lower voltages Connecting and disconnecting lines
removed in a position where the involves the use of insulating hand tools and equipment. Paragraph (e) addresses
employee would not be able to reach in a panelboard or cabinet. The chance the practices of connecting and
into the minimum approach distance of contacting a live part with the disconnecting lines and equipment.
(proposed § 1926.960(c)(2)(ii)). shoulder is extremely low because of Common industry practice, as reflected
These two provisions taken together the layout of live parts within the in ANSI C2–2002, Section 443F, is to
will ensure that an employee working enclosure. The electrical clearances make a connection so that the source is
near energized parts will not be able to between energized parts for voltages in connected as the last item in sequence
reach within the minimum approach this range are small enough that all and to break a connection so that the
distance unless using rubber insulating energized circuit parts will normally be source is removed as the first item in
equipment. Thus, any time an employee in front of the employee, enabling the sequence. In this way, conducting wires
is within reach of the minimum worker to maintain the required and devices used to make and break the
approach distance, he or she would minimum approach distance easily. The connection are deenergized during
need to be wearing rubber insulating proposed paragraph does not apply almost the entire procedure. These
gloves or the energized parts would when the voltage exceeds 72.5 kilovolts, practices would be required by
need to be insulated from the employee, because the minimum approach paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2). Since these
and any employee who is not protected distances generally become greater wires and devices must be handled
by insulating equipment would need to beyond this voltage and because rubber during the procedure, the proposed
stay far enough away from energized insulating equipment cannot be used for requirements would reduce the chance
parts that he or she could not reach these higher voltages.40 OSHA requests for an electrical accident. Also, to
within the minimum approach distance. comments on the need for this prevent the disconnected conductors
Proposed paragraph (c)(2)(ii) would requirement and on whether there are from being energized, loose ends of
ensure that employees don rubber other effective means of protecting conductors must be kept away from live
insulating gloves and sleeves from a safe employees from the hazard involved. parts, as would be required by
position. OSHA is aware that some Paragraph (d)(1) of proposed paragraph (e)(3). These three proposed
employers have a ground-to-ground rule § 1926.960 would require employees to provisions, which have no counterparts
requiring their employees to wear position themselves, to the extent that in existing Subpart V, have been taken
rubber insulating gloves before leaving other safety-related conditions at the from § 1910.269(l)(5).
the ground to work on energized lines worksite permit, so that a shock or slip Paragraph (f) of proposed § 1926.960,
or equipment and to leave the gloves would not cause the worker’s body to which was taken from
and sleeves on until the employees move towards exposed parts at a § 1910.269(l)(6)(i), would prohibit the
return to the ground. This practice potential different from that of the wearing of conductive articles by
ensures that employees are indeed employee. Since slips, and even electric employees working within reach of
wearing the rubber gloves and sleeves shocks, are not entirely preventable, it is exposed live parts of equipment if these
before they reach the energized area and articles would increase the hazards
eliminates the chance that an employee 40 The maximum use voltage for Class 4 rubber associated with accidental contact with
insulating equipment is 36 kilovolts. The highest the live parts. If an employee wants to
will forget to don the protective voltage on which this equipment can be used is 62
kilovolts if there is no multiphase exposure. This
wear metal jewelry, he or she can cover
39 OSHA is also proposing to make similar voltage falls in the Table V–1 range of 46.1 to 72.5 the jewelry so as to eliminate the
changes to § 1910.269. kV. contact hazard. This requirement is not

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intended to preclude workers from this period, there were 4.0 accidents and standards ensure not only that clothing
wearing metal rings or watch bands if 6.2 injuries per year. Thus, while the does not ignite but that it is rated to
the work being performed already clothing rule in § 1910.269 appears to provide protection against a given level
exposes them to electric shock hazards have helped reduce the number of of heat energy. Apparel that meets the
and if the wearing of metal would not accidents and injuries by more than 50 ASTM standards is labeled with the
increase the hazards. (For example, for percent, for two reasons, OSHA believes amount of heat energy that it can absorb
work performed on an overhead line, that the remaining risk of burn injury is under laboratory test conditions without
the wearing of a ring does not increase still serious and significant. First, these letting through sufficient heat to cause
the likelihood that an employee would accidents represent only a small fraction a second-degree burn. Clothing is
contact the line, nor would it increase of those that have actually occurred currently widely available in ratings
the severity of the injury should contact during this time. Employers are only from about 4 cal/cm2 to over 50 cal/cm2.
occur.) However, this requirement required to report to the Agency In general, the higher the rating, the
would protect employees working on accidents involving fatalities or three or heavier the clothing.
energized circuits with small clearances more hospitalized injuries. OSHA does As described more fully below, OSHA
and high current capacities (such as not investigate accidents that are not has decided to propose a rule that
some battery-supplied circuits) from reported by employers (that is, those would require employers to estimate the
severe burn hazards to which they involving two or fewer hospitalized heat energy from electric arcs that may
would otherwise be exposed. The rule employees and no deaths) unless it be encountered by employees and to
also protects workers who are only results in extensive property damage or provide clothing that will be flame
minimally exposed to shock hazards presents potential worker injury and resistant if it could be ignited when an
from being injured as a result of a generates widespread media interest. electrical fault occurs and that can
dangling chain’s making contact with a (See OSHA directives CPL 02–00–103 protect against the estimated level of
energized part. This provision has no and CPL 02–00–094.) Consequently, energy when an electric arc occurs. The
counterpart in existing Subpart V. most injury-producing accidents, even Agency believes that this rule, which is
Protection from electric arcs. serious ones, are not investigated by the proposed in § 1926.960(g), will ensure
Proposed paragraph (g) addresses Agency. Second, the reported burn that employees wear protective clothing
clothing worn by an employee. After injuries are very serious and costly. that is reasonably protective for the
reviewing the rulemaking record on Eighty-four percent of the burn injuries hazards they are facing.41
§ 1910.269, OSHA determined that were fatalities or required Paragraph (g)(1) of proposed
electric power generation, transmission, hospitalization. Eighty-seven percent of § 1926.960 would require the employer
and distribution workers face a the accidents for which the severity of to assess the workplace to determine if
significant risk of injury from burns due the injury was noted involved third- employees are exposed to hazards from
to electric arcs (January 31, 1994, 59 FR degree burns. Such burns are extremely flames or electric arcs. This provision
4388–4389). OSHA also concluded that painful and costly, typically requiring ensures that the employer evaluates
certain fabrics increase the extent of skin grafts and leaving permanent scars. employee exposure to flames and
injuries to employees caught in an OSHA’s existing clothing requirement electric arcs so that employees who do
electric arc or otherwise exposed to in § 1910.269 does not require face such exposures can be protected.
flames. Therefore, the Agency adopted employers to protect employees from Because § 1926.960 applies to work
two rules: (1) paragraph (l)(6)(ii) of electric arcs through the use of flame- performed on or near energized parts of
§ 1910.269, which requires that resistant clothing. It simply requires that electric circuits, employers can base a
employees exposed to flames and an employee’s clothing do no greater portion of the assessment required by
electric arcs be trained in the hazards harm. Because of the serious nature of paragraph (g)(1) on a determination of
related to the clothing that they wear, the still remaining risk to power which employees perform energized
and (2) paragraph (l)(6)(iii) which workers from electric arcs, the Agency work covered by this section. It should
prohibits apparel that could increase the believes that the standard should be be noted, however, that until a line or
extent of injuries received by a worker revised to require the use of flame- part of an electric circuit has been
who is exposed to a flame or electric resistant clothing, under certain completely deenergized following the
arc. OSHA also included a note circumstances, to protect employees procedures required by § 1926.961,
following paragraph (l)(6)(iii) to indicate from the most severe burns. The electric including any required testing and
the types of clothing fabrics that the power industry is beginning to grounding, the line or part would have
§ 1910.269 rulemaking record recognize this need as evidenced by the to be treated as energized.
demonstrated were hazardous to wear many employers who provide flame- Once an employer determines who is
by employees exposed to electric arcs. resistant clothing to employees, by the exposed to hazards from flames or
Since § 1910.269(l)(6)(iii) became work of ASTM in writing standards that electric arcs, the next step in protecting
effective on November 1, 1994, provide for arc ratings of protective these employees is a determination of
employees have continued to suffer clothing, and by the ongoing work the extent of the hazard. Paragraph (g)(2)
burn injuries working on energized lines towards a protective standard by the would require the employer to estimate
and equipment. From January 1, 1990, committee responsible for writing work the maximum amount of heat energy to
to October 30, 1994, there were 46 rules for the NESC. The National Fire which employees would be exposed.
accidents investigated by Federal or Protection Association also recognizes This estimate can be used in the
State OSHA involving burns that would the need to protect employees working selection of protective clothing, as
have been addressed by on energized equipment from the discussed later.
§ 1910.269(l)(6)(iii). These 46 accidents hazards posed by electric arcs. OSHA is aware of various methods of
resulted in 71 total injuries. Averaged In addition, when § 1910.269 was calculating values of available heat
over this period, there were 9.5 promulgated, there were no standards energy from an electric circuit. These
accidents and 14.7 injuries per year. for clothing to protect employees from methods are listed in Table IV–7. Each
From November 1, 1994, to December the thermal hazards resulting from
31, 1998, there were 17 such accidents electric arcs. Since then, ASTM has 41 OSHA is also proposing to make similar

resulting in 26 injuries. Averaged over adopted such standards. These changes in § 1910.269.

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules 34867

method requires the input of various This is partly because of the with respect to the estimates of the
parameters, such as fault current, the unpredictability of an electric arc and maximum available heat energy.
expected length of the electric arc, the partly because of the different ways the Two notes following proposed
distance from the arc to the employee, methods were developed. Some, like the § 1926.960(g)(2) help explain how to
and the clearing time for the fault (that NFPA 70E method, are based in theory. comply with the rule. The first note
is, the time the circuit protective Others, like the IEEE 1584 method, are states that Appendix F to Subpart V
devices take to open the circuit and based on empirical data. Whichever provides guidance on the estimation of
clear the fault). Some of these method is used, it is important to use it available heat energy. This appendix
parameters, such as the fault current within its limitations. For example, the discusses various methods of estimating
and the clearing time, are known values produced by the Heat Flux electric arc heat energy levels and
quantities for a given system. Other Calculator must be adjusted if provides tables that can also be used for
parameters, such as the length of the arc employees are exposed to energy from a this purpose. OSHA requests comments
and the distance between the arc and multiphase fault or if the heat energy on this appendix and on whether
the employee, vary widely and can only would be reflected by nearby surfaces.42 additional information is available to
be estimated. OSHA is not endorsing Because of the variability imposed by help employers and employees estimate
any of the methods listed in Table IV– these factors, OSHA has preliminarily available heat energy. The second note
7. The Agency requests comments and concluded that it is not possible to indicates that the employer may use
information on these and any other predict exactly how much energy an broad estimates representing multiple
available methods of calculating employee would face if an electric arc system areas if the employer uses
incident heat energy from electric arcs. occurs. On the other hand, it is clear reasonable assumptions about the
that when more electrical energy is exposure distribution throughout the
TABLE IV–7.—METHODS OF CALCU- available more heat will be generated by system and if those estimates represent
LATING INCIDENT HEAT ENERGY an electric arc and the potential for the maximum exposure for those
severe injury is greater. The Agency particular areas. This note clarifies that
FROM AN ELECTRIC ARC the rule is not intended to require
believes that greater protection is
warranted when greater hazards exist. separate calculations for each job or
1. Standard for Electrical Safety Require-
ments for Employee Workplaces, NFPA Thus, OSHA is proposing a standard task.
Much of the flame-resistant clothing
70E–2004, Annex D, ‘‘Sample Calculation that requires reasonable, but not exact,
of Flash Protection Boundary.’’ available today comes with an arc
estimates of the heat energy to which an
2. Doughty, T.E., Neal, and Floyd II, H.L., rating.43 In basic terms, an arc rating
employee could be exposed.
‘‘Predicting Incident Energy to Better Man- indicates that a fabric is not expected to
Additionally, OSHA is not proposing
age the Electric Arc Hazard on 600 V transfer sufficient thermal energy to
a standard based entirely on worst-case
Power Distribution Systems,’’ Record of cause a second-degree burn when tested
Conference papers IEEE IAS 45th Annual exposure. The worst case occurs when
under standard laboratory conditions
Petroleum and Chemical Industry Con- an electric arc powered by the
exposing the fabric to an electric arc that
ference, September 28–30, 1998. maximum available fault current is radiates an energy at or below the
3. Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard against an employee’s skin. In such rating.44 Proposed paragraph (g)(5)
Calculations, IEEE 1584–2002. cases, the distance between the would require that employees who are
4. Heat Flux Calculator, a free software pro- employee and the arc is zero, and the
gram created by Alan Privette (widely exposed to hazards from electric arcs
energy is extremely high even for wear clothing with an arc rating greater
available on the Internet). relatively low-current arcs. The Agency
5. ARCPRO, a commercially available soft- than or equal to the heat energy
ware program developed by Kinectrics, To-
does not believe it is reasonable to estimated under proposed paragraph
ronto, ON, CA. require a correspondingly high degree of (g)(2). This clothing will protect
protection for relatively low-energy arcs, employees exposed to various levels of
The amount of heat energy calculated which would put employees in very heat energy from sustaining severe burn
by any of the methods is approximately heavy clothing. injuries in areas covered by the clothing.
proportional to the square of the On the other hand, OSHA believes The note following paragraph (g)
distance between the employee and the that it is appropriate for the employer to explains that Appendix F to Subpart V
arc. In other words, if the employee is provide a level of protection that is contains information on the selection of
very close to the arc, the heat energy is reasonably related to the thermal hazard appropriate clothing. This appendix
very high; but if he or she is just a few involved. A 50-cal/cm2 exposure calls
more centimeters away, the heat energy for more protection than a 5-cal/cm2 43 The ASTM standards governing arc rating

drops substantially. exposure. Although none of the require the fabric being tested to be flame resistant.
In addition, the fault current and methods can predict precisely how Thus, no nonflame-resistant clothing has an arc
clearing time are interdependent. much heat energy an employee will 44 Arc rating is defined in ASTM F1506–02ae1,
Typically, the higher the fault current, face, they do provide a good indication Standard Performance Specification for Flame
the shorter the clearing time. It is quite of the relative severity of the exposure Resistant Textile Materials for Wearing Apparel for
possible that the maximum heat energy and the approximate level of protection Use by Electrical Workers Exposed to Momentary
needed. Thus, the Agency is proposing Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards: ‘‘a value
will result from a fault current that is that indicates the arc performance of a material or
well below maximum but that results in a rule that it believes requires system of materials. It is either the arc thermal
a relatively long clearing time. In order reasonable estimates of the amount of performance value (ATPV) or breakdown threshold
to calculate the worst case heat energy, heat energy an employee is likely to face energy (EBT), when the ATPV cannot be determined
and to provide a corresponding level of by Test Method F1959.’’ ASTM F1959–99 defines
an employer would have to perform a ATPV as ‘‘in arc testing, the incident energy on a
range of calculations for each system protection. OSHA requests comments fabric or material that results in sufficient heat
area. on whether the proposed rule requires transfer through the fabric or material to cause the
Furthermore, the method of an appropriate level of protection and onset of a second-degree burn based on the Stoll
clearly defines employer obligations curve.’’ That same standard defines EBT as ‘‘the
calculation can affect the results. Each average of the five highest incident energy exposure
method yields somewhat different values below the Stoll curve where the specimens
values using the same input parameters. 42 This exposure is known as ‘‘arc in a box.’’ do not exhibit breakopen.’’

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34868 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules

contains information on the ignition intended to prevent these conductors contact with live parts energized at
threshold of various fabrics, the thermal from melting.) The listed conditions are more than 600 volts. The Agency
performance of typical arc-rated those in which employees’ clothing has requests comments on whether the
clothing, ways of estimating available been ignited in several of the burn requirements for flame-resistant
heat energy, and ways of selecting accidents examined by OSHA. clothing in proposed § 1926.960(g)(4)
clothing to protect employees from burn OSHA could have, more simply, are reasonable and appropriate.
injuries resulting from electric arcs. required clothing that could not ignite OSHA is not proposing to require a
Even with the requirements for the and continue to burn under the heat specific level of protection for skin that
employer to assess hazards (proposed energy conditions estimated pursuant to is not covered by clothing. Employees’
paragraph (g)(2)) and for employees to proposed paragraph (g)(2). However, as hands, which are frequently the closest
wear clothing with a rating appropriate noted earlier, these estimates do not body part to an electric arc, would
for this assessment (proposed paragraph entirely reflect the heat energy produced typically be protected by rubber
(g)(5)), there are still situations that by worst case conditions. If the other insulating gloves and leather protectors
could arise under which an employee’s parameters affecting the energy in an arc when the employee’s hands are at
clothing could ignite and lead to severe are held constant, the heat energy rises greatest risk of injury. Although neither
burn injuries. For example, an employee exponentially with decreasing distance rubber insulating gloves nor leather
wearing a cotton-polyester blend jacket between the arc and the employee. protectors have arc ratings, because of
over his or her arc-rated shirt could be Thus, an electric arc that touches an their weight and thickness, they
injured if the jacket ignites or melts employee’s clothing releases much more typically provide greater protection
when an electric arc occurs. Thus, energy than the same arc at a distance from electric arcs than light-weight
OSHA is proposing, in paragraphs (g)(3) equal to the minimum approach flame-resistant clothing. Their
and (g)(4), additional provisions distance. For example, the heat energy protective value is borne out in the
intended to prevent the ignition or from a 51-millimeter-long arc, generated accident data—none of the burn injuries
melting of an employee’s clothing. by 20 kiloamperes of fault current at 15 to employees hands involved an
Proposed § 1926.960(g)(3) would kilovolts, and clearing in 6 cycles is 1.23 employee wearing rubber insulating
prohibit clothing that could either melt cal/cm2 if the arc is 650 millimeters gloves. OSHA requests comments on
onto an employee’s skin or ignite and away, but is 1971 cal/cm2 if the arc is whether the standard should require
continue to burn. This rule is equivalent 10 millimeters away.46 None of the complete protection for an employee’s
to existing § 1910.269(l)(6)(iii).45 This common fabrics listed in Table 11 in entire body.
proposed provision would ensure that Appendix F to Subpart V (explained Payment for Protective Clothing. As
employees exposed to electric arcs do below) would ignite if the arc was 650 described earlier, OSHA is requiring
not wear clothing presenting the most millimeters away from the employee, employers to ensure that their
severe burn hazards. A note following but every one would ignite if the arc employees (1) wear flame-resistant
this provision lists fabrics that are was only 10 millimeters away. clothing under certain hazardous
specifically prohibited unless the The closest an electric arc was to an conditions, and (2) when working on
employer demonstrates that the clothing employee in electric power accidents energized parts of the electric power
is treated or worn to eliminate the over the years 1991 to 1998 occurred in system, wear clothing with an arc rating
hazard. This note is the same as the note 17 cases in which an employee greater than or equal to potential heat
following existing § 1910.269(l)(6)(iii). contacted an energized conductor or energy exposures estimated for those
OSHA requests comments on whether was touching the electric arc. In eight of parts. OSHA considers the protective
additional fabrics pose similar hazards those cases, an employee’s clothing clothing required by paragraph (g) to be
and should be added to the note. apparently ignited.47 On the other hand, PPE. The protective clothing would
Proposed paragraph (g)(4) would none of the accidents involved contact reduce the degree of injury sustained by
require employees to wear flame- with circuit parts energized at 600 volts an employee when an electric arc
resistant clothing whenever: (1) The or less. OSHA believes that the cases occurs. In some cases, the clothing
employee is exposed to contact with that have occurred demonstrate a would prevent injury altogether. Unlike
live parts energized at more than 600 significant risk that an employee’s many OSHA standards, the proposal
volts (paragraph (g)(4)(i)); (2) the clothing could ignite and cause serious, would not require that employers
employee’s clothing could be ignited by even fatal, burn injuries from ignited provide protective clothing at no cost to
nearby flammable material that could be clothing when an employee contacts employees. However, OSHA is
ignited by an electric arc (paragraph circuit parts energized at more than 600 considering including an employer-
(g)(4)(ii)); or (3) the employee’s clothing volts. Therefore, OSHA has payment requirement in the final rule
could be ignited by molten metal or preliminarily concluded that an and is seeking comments on the issue.
electric arcs from faulted conductors in employee must wear flame-resistant OSHA has a longstanding policy that
the work area (paragraph (g)(4)(iii)). (A clothing any time he or she is subject to employers must provide and pay for
note to proposed paragraph (g)(4)(iii) PPE, except, in some cases, where the
indicates that this provision does not 46 These heat energy estimates are calculated PPE is personal in nature and usable by
apply to conductors capable of carrying using ARCPRO. the employee off of the job. This policy
47 The accident description indicated that the
the maximum available fault current. is supported by the plain language of
clothing ignited or stated that the extent of the
The design of the installation is burns or the location of the burns was such that the OSH Act and its legislative history.
clothing ignition was likely to have occurred. For (For a complete discussion of OSHA’s
45 The existing rule prohibits clothing that could example, in one case, a 4100-volt conductor fell policy, see OSHA’s preamble to the
increase the extent of injuries to an employee if an onto an employee’s chest. The employee survived employer payment for PPE proposal, 64
electric arc occurs. The Agency interprets this rule the electric shock but died from second- and third-
as prohibiting clothing that could melt or that could degree burns over 60 percent of his body. The FR 15402 (March 31, 1999).) Many
ignite and continue to burn in the presence of an electrical burns from the contact were probably OSHA health standards include
electric arc faced by an employee (Memorandum to localized to the area near the point of contact. It is language explicitly stating that
the Field from James W. Stanley, ‘‘Guidelines for likely that the employee’s clothing ignited to cause
the Enforcement of the Apparel Standard, 29 CFR burns that were spread over 60 percent of his body
employers must provide PPE ‘‘at no
1910.269(l)(6), of the Electric Power Generation, though the accident description did not state that cost’’ to employees. See, for example, 29
Transmission, and Distribution Standard’’). clothing ignition occurred. CFR 1910.1018(h)(2)(i) and (j) (inorganic

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules 34869

arsenic); 29 CFR 1910.1025(f)(1) and by electric power generation, OSHA is seeking comments on its
(g)(1) (lead); and 29 CFR 1910.1048(g)(1) transmission, and distribution findings on protective clothing generally
and (h) (formaldehyde). The regulatory employers, who have all of the in addition to the following specific
text and preamble of some safety information related to the parameters of questions:
standards also make clear that the electric power system and are in the 1. Are there types or weights of
employers must pay for PPE. See 29 best position to select and purchase protective clothing that employees
CFR 1910.146(d)(4)(iv) (confined clothing necessary to protect employees typically wear outside of work? Do
spaces); and 29 CFR 1910.266(d)(1)(iii) from injury. Moreover, an employer- employers restrict the types or weights
(logging). payment requirement could also help of protective clothing that employees
Because not every OSHA standard ensure that protective clothing is are allowed to wear outside of work?
explicitly states that employers must replaced promptly when its protective 2. Do employers typically provide the
pay for PPE, in 1999, OSHA proposed qualities erode. Some stakeholders have types of protective clothing required by
regulatory language to clarify that told OSHA that employees, if required the proposal at no cost to employees?
employers are responsible for the cost of to pay for their own protective clothing, Do some employers provide certain
PPE, with only a few exceptions (64 FR may delay replacing damaged protective types or weights of protective clothing
15402). The proposal added language to clothing for financial reasons. Any delay at no cost to employees, while requiring
OSHA’s general industry, shipyard, in replacing an article of protective other types or weights of protective
construction, marine terminal, and clothing that has worn thin, or that clothing to be paid for by employees?
longshoring standards that ‘‘[a]ll contains holes or other openings, could Should OSHA include an employer-
protective equipment, including [PPE] endanger employees. Such damaged payment requirement for heavier
* * * shall be provided by the clothing does not provide adequate weights or particular types of protective
employer at no cost to employees [64 FR protection to employees exposed to clothing, but not lighter weights or other
15441 (emphasis added)].’’ Exceptions electric arcs. types? If so, please specify what weights
were given for safety-toe protective Unlike Cr(VI), however, this proposal or types of protective clothing should be
footwear and prescription safety contains no prohibition on employees’ exempt from an employer-payment
eyewear, provided that the employer taking certain protective clothing home, requirement.
permits them to be worn off of the job 3. OSHA realizes that in the
wearing certain protective clothing off
site, they are not used in a manner that construction industry crews of
of the job, and laundering such clothing.
makes them unsafe for use off of the job employees are sometimes hired through
OSHA has not included an employer-
site, and they are not designed for local unions. This results in a variable
payment requirement in this proposal
special use on the job (64 FR 15441). workforce for many contractors. A
because it does not have enough
OSHA recently reopened the contractor that hires employees in this
information at this time on the types
rulemaking record on its employer manner may have to buy protective
and weights of protective clothing, if
payment for PPE proposal. to solicit clothing for more employees than would
any, that may be routinely worn outside
comment on PPE that might be an employer with a more stable
of work.48 There may be certain types of workforce, particularly for protective
considered tools of the trade. See 69 FR lightweight protective clothing that
41221 (July 8, 2004). clothing that only fits one employee.
employees wear both at work and at OSHA requests comment on whether,
OSHA also recently proposed that
home. OSHA believes it needs more given this hiring practice, an employer-
employers in general industry,
information from the public on this payment requirement is appropriate in
maritime, and construction, pay for
clothing before including a general the construction industry. Are there any
protective clothing for employees
requirement that employers pay for alternative approaches that would be
exposed to hexavalent chromium
(Cr(VI)). See 69 FR 59465–59466 (Oct. 4, protective clothing. In the PPE payment responsive to this variable workforce
2004) (‘‘Where a hazard is present or is proposal, OSHA expressly exempted situation and would also be protective
likely to be present from skin or eye safety shoes and prescription eyewear of construction workers performing
contact with chromium (VI), the from the general employer-payment electric power generation, transmission,
employer shall provide appropriate requirement, in part because such and distribution work?
personal protective clothing and equipment was personal in nature and 4. Should OSHA not address the
equipment at no cost to employees, and could be used outside of work. See 64 payment for protective clothing
shall ensure that employees use such FR 15402. OSHA is seeking information specifically in the final rule and,
clothing and equipment.’’). The Agency from the public as to whether protective instead, follow the outcome of the
said that employers are in the best clothing worn by employees performing general employer payment for PPE
position to select and obtain the power generation, transmission, and rulemaking?
appropriate protective clothing and that distribution work falls into this same To protect employees from contacting
by providing and owning protective category of PPE. OSHA is also energized parts, paragraph (h) of
clothing, the employer will better incorporating the record of the employer proposed § 1926.960 would require
maintain the integrity of it (69 FR payment for PPE rulemaking into the fuses to be installed and removed using
59456). The proposal also prohibits record of this rulemaking and will give insulated tools or gloves when a
employees from taking contaminated due consideration to all relevant terminal is energized at over 300 volts
protective clothing home; employers are comments. or when live parts are exposed at any
responsible for laundering or disposing voltage over 50 volts. When an
48 OSHA notes that, for ease of analysis only, it
of contaminated protective clothing (69 expulsion fuse operates on a fault or
has included a cost to employers for providing
FR 59456). protective clothing in its economic feasibility
overload, the arc from the fault current
OSHA believes that requiring analysis—in addition to its economic impact erodes the tube of the fuse holder. This
employers to pay for the protective analysis under Executive Order 12866 and the produces a gas that blasts the arc out
clothing that would be required by this RFA—even though such a requirement is not through the fuse tube vent or vents, and
expressly included in the proposal. See Section V,
proposal may also improve the safety of Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis and Initial
with it any loose material in the way.
employees. Like Cr(VI), the purchase of Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, later in this Employees could be injured by the arc
protective clothing may be best handled preamble. blast or by particles blown, by the blast,

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in their eyes. Employees should never being reenergized by means other than under the control of a system operator.
install or remove such fuses using the normal energy sources. For example, In the usual case, one employee is
gloves alone. Therefore, paragraph (h) lightning can strike a line and energize designated to be in charge of the
would also require employees installing an otherwise deenergized conductor, or clearance. In general, all of the
expulsion-type fuses energized at 300 a line could be energized by unknown requirements in paragraph (c) would
volts or more to wear eye protection, cogeneration sources not under the apply, with the employee in charge of
would have to use a tool rated for the control of the employer. Additionally, the clearance taking the place of the
voltage, and would have to stand clear some deenergized transmission and system operator. In this manner, the
of the fuse’s exhaust path. This distribution lines are subject to being proposal provides protection against the
paragraph, which has no counterpart in reenergized by induced voltage from unintended energizing of transmission
existing Subpart V, has been taken from nearby energized conductors or by and distribution lines without requiring
§ 1910.269(l)(7). contact with other energized sources of all lines to be under the control of one
Paragraph (i) explains that covered electrical energy. Another difference is employee. One employee in a crew will
conductors are treated under the that energy control devices are often be in charge of the clearance for the
standard as uninsulated. (See the very remote from the worksite and are crew; procedures will be followed to
definition of ‘‘covered conductor’’ in frequently under the centralized control ensure that the lines are truly
§ 1926.968.) The covering on this type of of a system operator. deenergized; tags will be placed on the
wire protects the conductor from the For these reasons, OSHA is proposing lines; and procedures will be followed
weather but does not provide adequate to cover the control of hazardous energy to remove the tags and reenergize the
insulating value. This provision, which sources related to transmission and lines.
has no counterpart in existing Subpart distribution systems. This is the same However, in some cases, certain
V, has been taken from § 1910.269(l)(8). approach used in § 1910.269. In fact, the requirements contained in paragraph (c)
Paragraph (j) proposes a requirement requirements proposed in § 1926.961 are not necessary for the safety of
that noncurrent-carrying metal parts of have been taken from § 1910.269(m). employees. If only one crew will be
equipment or devices be treated as Existing Subpart V also contains working on transmission or distribution
energized at the highest voltage to procedures for deenergizing lines and if the means of deenergizing
which they are exposed unless the transmission and distribution the lines is accessible and visible to and
installation is inspected and these parts installations. The differences between under the sole control of the employee
are determined to be grounded. the existing requirements, which are in charge of the clearance, the
Grounding these parts, whether by contained in § 1926.950(d), and those provisions requiring tags on the
permanent grounds or by the proposed in § 1926.961 are discussed disconnecting means are unnecessary.
installation of temporary grounds, later in this preamble. Therefore, proposed paragraph (b)(3)(i)
would provide protection against In addition to setting forth the would exempt a portion of the
ground faults. This requirement, which application of § 1926.961, paragraph (a) requirements of paragraph (c) from
has no counterpart in existing Subpart explains that conductors and equipment applying to work that is performed by
V, is based on § 1910.269(l)(9). that have not been deenergized under a single crew of employees,49 if the
Paragraph (k) would require devices the procedures of § 1926.961 have to be means of disconnection of the lines and
used to open circuits under load treated as energized. As noted earlier in equipment are accessible and visible to
conditions to be designed to interrupt this preamble under the summary and and under the sole control of the
the current involved. It is hazardous to explanation of proposed employee in charge of the clearance.
open a circuit with a device that is not § 1926.960(b)(2), existing The provisions of paragraph (c) that
designed to interrupt current if that § 1926.950(b)(2) requires electric would not apply are those relating to (1)
circuit is carrying current. Non-load- equipment and lines to be considered as requesting the system operator to
break switches used to open a circuit energized until determined to be deenergize the lines, (2) automatic and
while it is carrying load current could deenergized by tests or other remote control of the lines, (3) the
fail catastrophically, severely injuring or appropriate means. OSHA believes that wording on tags, (4) two crews working
killing any nearby employee. This the appropriate procedures for assuring on the same line, and (5) tag removal.
requirement, which has no counterpart that lines and equipment are It is not necessary to request the system
in existing Subpart V, has been taken deenergized are contained in proposed operator to deenergize the lines because
from § 1910.269(l)(10). § 1926.961 and that a simple test for a he or she would not be in control of the
deenergized condition cannot be relied disconnecting means for the lines. Only
Section 1926.961, Deenergizing Lines
upon to ensure that lines and equipment one person would be in charge of the
and Equipment for Employee Protection
remain deenergized. clearance for the crew, and the means of
Proposed § 1926.961 addresses the Some systems are under the direction disconnection for the lines would be
deenergizing of electric transmission of a central system operator who accessible and visible to and under the
and distribution lines and equipment controls all switching operations. Other control of that person.50 Thus, tags
for the protection of employees. systems (mostly distribution would not be needed for the protection
Transmission and distribution systems installations) are not under any of the crew. Further, remote and
are different from other energy systems centralized control. These systems are automatic switching of lines and work
found in general industry or even in the energized and deenergized in the field performed by two crews working on
electric utility industry itself. The without the direct intervention of a lines or equipment controlled by the
hazardous energy control methods for system operator. Paragraph (b)(1) of same disconnecting means would not be
these systems are necessarily different proposed § 1926.961 states that all of the
from those covered under the general requirements of proposed paragraph (c) 49 An employee working alone is considered to be

industry generic standard on the control would apply if a system operator is in a ‘‘crew’’ of one.
50 The means of disconnection is under the sole
of hazardous energy sources charge of the lines and equipment and
control of the employee in charge of the clearance,
(§ 1910.147). Transmission and of their means of disconnection. and it need only be assessible and visible to that
distribution lines and equipment are Paragraph (b)(2) defines the general rule employee. Other employees in the crew have no
installed outdoors and are subject to for crews working on lines that are not control whatsoever over the disconnecting means.

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recognized under paragraph (b)(3)(i). (A this employee. In complying with line is deenergized. This requirement,
group of employees made up of several paragraph (b)(3)(ii), the employer would which is contained in paragraph (b)(4)
‘‘crews’’ of employees who are under have to ensure that no tag is removed would prevent a member of the general
the direction of a single employee and unless its associated clearances are public or an employee (of a contractor,
who are working in a coordinated released (paragraph (c)(11)) 51 and that for example) who is not under the
manner to accomplish a task on the no action is taken at a given point of employer’s control from closing the
same lines or equipment are considered disconnection until all protective switch and energizing the line. This
to be a single crew, rather than as grounds have been removed, until all requirement, which has no counterpart
multiple independent crews, for the crews have released their clearances, in existing Subpart V, has been taken
purposes of paragraph (b)(3)(i). In such until all employees are clear of the lines from § 1910.269(m)(2)(iv).
cases, all operations that could energize or equipment, and until all tags have Paragraph (c) of proposed § 1926.961
or deenergize a circuit would have to be been removed at that point of sets forth the exact procedure for
coordinated through the single disconnection (paragraph (c)(12)). deenergizing transmission and
employee in charge.) If the crews are OSHA requests comments on whether distribution lines and equipment. The
independent, each crew would need an the standard should require each crew procedure must be followed in the order
employee-in-charge of its clearance (see to have a separate tag and, if so, on ways presented in the rule. Except as noted,
the discussion of proposed paragraph to incorporate such a requirement in the the rules are consistent with existing
(b)(3)(ii), later in this section of the standard. § 1926.950(d)(1), although the language
preamble). Therefore, no one could be Where there is a system operator, who has been taken from § 1910.269(m)(3).
considered as having sole control over is in charge of energizing and The Agency has attempted to propose
the disconnecting means protecting the deenergizing lines and equipment, that simplified language and has written the
crews, and the exceptions listed in person keeps track of clearances for requirements in performance-oriented
paragraph (b)(3)(i) would not apply. different crews working on the same terms whenever possible.
Paragraph (d) of existing § 1926.950 lines or equipment. When there is no Paragraph (c)(1) would require an
also recognizes separate procedures for system operator, the crews will need to employee to request the system operator
lines that are ‘‘visibly open.’’ However, coordinate their activities to ensure that to deenergize a particular section of line
only two requirements apply. First, the lines or equipment are not or equipment. So that control is vested
paragraph (d)(2)(i) requires guards or reenergized while an employee is still in one authority, a single designated
barriers to be installed to protect against working on them. Proposed paragraph employee would be assigned this task.
contact with adjacent lines. Second, (b)(3)(ii) would require such This designated employee thus becomes
upon completion of work, the coordination when there is no system the employee in charge of and
designated employee in charge must operator. responsible for the clearance for work.
determine that all employees in his Proposed paragraph (b)(3)(ii) has been This provision, which has no
crew are clear and that protective taken from § 1910.269(m)(3)(viii). counterpart in existing Subpart V, has
grounds installed by his crew have been Existing Subpart V contains a been taken from § 1910.269(m)(3)(i). The
removed, and he or she must report to comparable requirement in designated employee who requests the
the designated authority that all tags § 1926.950(d)(1)(vi). However, the clearance need not be in charge of other
protecting the crew may be removed existing requirement would simply aspects of the work; the proposal
(paragraph (d)(2)(ii)). require a tag for each independent crew. intends for this designated employee to
The existing Subpart V provisions As noted earlier, the proposal would not be in charge of the clearance. He or she
relating to working on lines or require separate tags for each crew. is responsible for requesting the
equipment that have their disconnecting However, each crew would hold a
clearance, for informing the system
means ‘‘visibly open’’ are insufficient to operator of changes in the clearance
separate clearance that could not be
protect employees. Other requirements (such as transfer of responsibility), and
released without authorization from the
relating to deenergizing, testing, for insuring that it is safe for the circuit
employee in charge of the clearance.
grounding, and reenergizing procedures to be reenergized before the clearance is
Additionally, the proposal would
are necessary for the protection of released. If someone other than an
require that each crew independently
employees. While existing Subpart V employee at the worksite requests the
perform all the steps outlined in
does cover reenergizing procedures, it clearance and if that clearance is in
proposed paragraph (c) and that the
includes no provisions for deenergizing, place before the employee arrives at the
crews coordinate deenergizing and
testing, or grounding. OSHA believes site, then clearance must be transferred
reenergizing the lines or equipment if
that this proposal corrects these under § 1926.961(c)(8). The Agency
deficiencies. no system operator is in charge. The believes that the person requesting the
If more than one independent crew is existing standard contains no such clearance, once the lines are indeed
working on a line, paragraph (b)(3)(ii) requirement. OSHA believes that the deenergized, must be the one to contact
would require each crew to follow the proposed approach better protects in case alterations in the clearance are
steps outlined in § 1926.961(c) employees than the existing standard. necessary. The employees who will be
separately, to ensure that a group of Disconnecting means that are performing the actual work at some time
workers does not make faulty accessible to people not under the in the future would not necessarily be
assumptions about what steps have been employer’s control would have to be aware that a clearance has been
or will be taken by another group to rendered inoperable. For example, a requested and would not be in position
deenergize lines or equipment. switch handle mounted at the bottom of to answer questions about the clearance.
Paragraph (c) of proposed § 1926.961 a utility pole that is not on the The second step (proposed
would not require a separate tag for each employer’s premises must be locked in § 1926.961(c)(2)) is to open all switches
crew; it does require, however, separate the open position while the overhead through which electrical energy could
clearances for each crew. There would 51 Unless the employer has only one crew, a
flow to the section of line or equipment.
have to be one employee in charge of tracking mechanism may be necessary so that the
The disconnecting means would then be
the clearance for each crew, and the employer can determine what crew is protected by made inoperable if the design of the
clearance for a crew would be held by a tag. device permits. For example, the

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removable handle of a switch could be fact been deenergized and is intended to illness or other emergency, the
detached. Also, the switches would prevent accidents resulting from employee’s supervisor could inform the
have to be tagged to indicate that someone’s opening the wrong system operator of the transfer in
employees are at work. This paragraph disconnect. It also protects employees clearance. This requirement, which is
would ensure that the lines are from hazards associated with unknown based on § 1910.269(m)(3)(ix), has no
disconnected from their sources of sources of electric energy. This counterpart in existing Subpart V.
supply and protects against the paragraph is based on After the clearance is transferred, the
accidental reclosing of the switches. § 1910.269(m)(3)(v). Existing new employee in charge would then be
This rule is intended to require the § 1926.950(d)(1)(iii) requires a test or a responsible for the clearance. It is
disconnection of known sources of visual inspection to be performed to important that only one employee at a
electric energy only. Hazards related to ensure that the lines or equipment are time be responsible for any clearance;
the presence of unexpected energy deenergized. Visual inspection alone otherwise, independent action by any
sources would be controlled by testing cannot determine whether a line or worker could endanger the entire crew.
for voltage and by grounding the circuit, equipment is deenergized. Voltage Once work is completed, the
as proposed under paragraphs (c)(5) and backfeed, induced current, and leakage clearance will have to be released so
(c)(6), respectively. current can all energize electric lines that the lines or equipment can be
Proposed paragraph (c)(2) has been and equipment without the employee reenergized. Paragraph (c)(9) of
taken from § 1910.269(m)(3)(ii). Existing being able to ‘‘see’’ it. Additionally, the proposed § 1926.961 covers this
Subpart V contains comparable § 1910.269 rulemaking showed the lack procedure. To ensure that it is safe to
requirements in § 1926.950(d)(1)(i), of testing to be a cause of accidents release the clearance, the employee in
(d)(1)(ii)(a), and (d)(1)(ii)(b). The (269-Ex. 9–2, 12–12). Therefore, the charge would have to: (1) Notify
existing provisions require: (1) the line proposal would require an actual test to workers in the crew of the release, (2)
or equipment to be identified and determine whether the lines or determine that they are clear of the lines
isolated from sources of energy equipment was energized. OSHA has and equipment, (3) determine that
(paragraph (d)(1)(i)), and (2) notification not specified the type of test but expects grounds have been removed, and (4)
and assurance of the designated employers to use testing procedures that notify the system operator that the
employee that all disconnecting means will reliably indicate whether or not the clearance is to be released. This
have been opened and tagged part in question is energized. For provision is based on
(paragraphs (d)(1)(ii)(a) and (d)(1)(ii)(b)). example, using a voltage detector on the § 1910.269(m)(3)(x). An equivalent
OSHA believes that the proposed part would be one way to do this. OSHA requirement is contained in existing
language more accurately reflects the requests comments on when and if other § 1926.950(d)(1)(viii).
actual steps taken to deenergize lines methods, such as fuzzing a line,52 are Proposed paragraph (c)(10) would
and equipment. acceptable testing methods. require the person who is releasing the
Proposed § 1926.961(c)(3) would Proposed paragraph (c)(6) would clearance to be the one who requested
require the tagging of automatically and require the installation of any protective it, unless responsibility has been
remotely controlled switches. An grounds required by § 1926.962 at this transferred. This provision would
automatically or remotely controlled point in the sequence of events. Since ensure that no clearance is released
switch would also have to be rendered the lines or equipment have been without the authorization of the
inoperable if the design of the switch deenergized and tested in accordance employee who is in charge of the
allows for it to be made inoperable. This with the previous provisions, it would clearance. This proposed paragraph,
provision which has been taken from now be safe to install a protective which has no counterpart in existing
§ 1910.269(m)(3)(iii), would also protect ground. This requirement is based on Subpart V, is based on
employees from being injured as a result § 1910.269(m)(3)(vi). An equivalent § 1910.269(m)(3)(xi).
of the automatic operation of such Proposed paragraph (c)(11) would
requirement is contained in existing
switches. Existing Subpart V contains prohibit the removal of a tag unless its
§ 1926.950(d)(1)(iv).
an equivalent requirement in associated clearance has been released.
After the six previous rules have been
§§ 1926.950(d)(1)(ii)(b) and (d)(1)(ii)(c). Because the persons who place and
followed, paragraph (c)(7) would permit
Paragraph (c)(4) of proposed remove the tags may not be the same, it
the lines or equipment to be treated as
§ 1926.961 would require tags to is important for the regulation to
deenergized. This provision, which has
prohibit operation of the switches to prohibit removing a tag without the
no counterpart in existing Subpart V, is
which they are attached. They would release of the clearance by the employee
based on § 1910.269(m)(3)(vii).
also be required to state that employees In some cases, as when an employee who is responsible for it. This provision,
are at work. This requirement has been in charge has to leave the job because which has no counterpart in existing
taken from § 1910.269(m)(3)(iv). of illness, it may be necessary to transfer Subpart V, is based on
Existing § 1926.950(d)(1)(ii)(b) contains a clearance. Under such conditions, § 1910.269(m)(3)(xii).
a requirement for tags to indicate that According to proposed paragraph
proposed paragraph (c)(8) would require
employees are working; however, it (c)(12), action would be permitted to be
that the employee in charge inform the
does not require the tags to prohibit taken to reenergize the lines or
system operator and that the employees
operation of the disconnecting means. equipment only after grounds and tags
in the crew be informed of the transfer.
The Agency believes that it is essential have been removed, after all clearances
If the employee holding the clearance is
for the tags to contain this prohibition have been released, and after all
forced to leave the worksite due to
so that the meaning of the tag is clear. employees are in the clear. This protects
After the previous four requirements 52 Fuzzing, or buzzing, a line involves using a employees from the possibility that the
have been met and after the employee live-line tool to hold a wrench or similar tool near line or equipment could be reenergized
in charge of the work has been given a a line and listening for the buzzing sound given off while employees are still at work. The
clearance by the system operator, as the tool approaches a circuit part energized at a Agency does not intend for this
high voltage. This method has obvious
proposed paragraph (c)(5) would require disadvantages when ambient noise levels are
provision to require the removal of all
the lines or equipment to be tested. This excessive, and it is only reliable above certain tags from all disconnecting means
test would ensure that the lines have in voltage levels. before any of them could be reclosed. It

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is intended to require that all tags for from electric shock or indirectly from the current requirements to protect
any particular switch be removed before involuntary reaction.) employees better.53
that switch is closed. It is very Grounding, as a temporary protective Proposed § 1926.962 addresses
important in a tagging system that no protective grounding and bonding.54 As
measure, involves connecting the
energy isolating device be returned to a noted in paragraph (a), entire § 1926.962
deenergized lines and equipment to applies to the grounding of deenergized
position allowing energy flow if there
earth through conductors. As long as the transmission and distribution lines and
are any tags on it that are protecting
conductors remain deenergized, this equipment for the purpose of protecting
employees. For example, in the case of
a 5-mile section of line that is maintains the lines and equipment at employees. Additionally, paragraph (a)
deenergized by opening switches at both the same potential as the earth. indicates that paragraph (d) of proposed
ends of the line, after all the tags are However, if voltage is impressed on a § 1926.962 would apply to the
removed from any one switch that one line, the voltage on the grounded line protective grounding of other
switch could then be closed. rises to a value dependent upon the equipment, such as aerial lift trucks, as
Proposed paragraph (c)(12), which has impressed voltage, the impedance well. Under normal conditions, such
no counterpart in Subpart V, has been between its source and the grounding equipment would not be connected to a
taken from § 1910.269(m)(3)(xiii). point, and the impedance of the source of electric energy. However, to
grounding conductor. protect employees in case of accidental
Section 1926.962, Grounding for the contact of the equipment with live parts,
Protection of Employees Various techniques are used to limit
the voltage to which an employee protective grounding is required
Sometimes, normally energized lines working on a grounded line would be elsewhere in the standard (in
and equipment that have been § 1926.964(c)(11), for example); to
exposed. Bonding is one of these
deenergized to permit employees to ensure the adequacy of this grounding,
techniques. Conductive objects within
work become accidentally energized. the provisions of paragraph (d) must be
the reach of the employee are bonded followed.
This can happen in several ways, for together to create an equipotential work
example, by contact with another The general requirement contained in
area for the employee. Within this area paragraph (b) of proposed § 1926.962
energized circuit, by voltage backfeed of equal potentials, voltage differences
from a customer’s cogeneration states the conditions under which lines
are limited to a safe value. and equipment must be grounded.
installation, by lightning contact, or by
failure of the clearance system outlined The requirements proposed in Basically, in order for lines or
in § 1926.961. § 1926.962 have been taken directly equipment to be treated as deenergized,
Transmission and distribution lines from § 1910.269(n). Existing § 1926.954 they must be deenergized under
and equipment are normally installed contains current provisions related to
53 As previously noted, existing § 1926.954(a)
outdoors where they are exposed to grounding for the protection of
requires conductors and equipment to be
damage from the weather and from employees. OSHA has reviewed existing considered as energized until determined to be
actions taken by members of the general § 1926.954 and has found that it is not deenergized or until grounded. Paragraph (c) of
public. Many utility poles are installed as protective as § 1910.269(n) and existing § 1926.954 requires bare communications
conductors on poles or structures to be treated as
alongside roadways where they may be contains redundant and unnecessary energized unless they are protected by insulating
struck by motor vehicles. Distribution requirements. For example, as noted materials. The hazard addressed by these
lines have been damaged by falling under the summary and explanation of requirements is covered by proposed
trees, and transmission line insulators proposed § 1926.960(b)(2), existing § 1926.960(b)(2), discussed earlier in this preamble.
have been used for target practice. When equipment is being installed, it poses the
§ 1926.950(b)(2) requires electric lines same hazard to an employee that any other
Additionally, customers fed by a utility and equipment to be considered as conductive object being manipulated near exposed
company’s distribution line may have energized until determined to be energized parts does. Requirements contained in
cogeneration or backup generation deenergized by tests or other proposed § 1926.960(c) and (d) adequately address
capability, sometimes without the this hazard. The installation of lines however does
appropriate methods or means. Existing pose additional hazards. First, the lines may be
utility company’s knowledge. All these § 1926.954(a) similarly requires all subject to hazardous induced voltage. Second,
factors can reenergize a deenergized conductors and equipment to be treated because of their length, new overhead lines are
transmission or distribution line or as energized until tested or otherwise much more likely to contact existing energized lines
equipment. Energized lines can be than new equipment is. This can happen, for
determined to be deenergized or until example, through failure of the stringing and
knocked down onto deenergized lines. grounded. These two provisions do not tensioning equipment being used to install the new
A backup generator or a cogenerator can adequately protect employees from lines or through failure of the existing lines or
cause voltage backfeed on the accidentally reenergized lines and
support structures. These hazards are addressed in
deenergized power line. Lastly, proposed § 1926.964(b), which specifically covers
equipment. As noted in the earlier the installation and removal of overhead lines.
lightning, even miles from the worksite, Lastly, new underground lines, which are run as
discussion, electric power transmission
can reenergize a line. All of these insulated cable, do not pose electrical hazards.
and distribution lines and equipment
problems pose hazards to employees For these reasons, OSHA is not proposing to carry
can become reenergized even after they existing § 1926.954(b) forward. However, comments
working on deenergized transmission
and distribution lines and equipment. In have been deenergized. Therefore, are requested on whether or not the proposal
OSHA concluded in the § 1910.269 adequately protects employees from hazards
fact, these problems were a factor in 14 associated with the installation of new lines and
of the accidents in 269–Exhibit 9–2. rulemaking that grounding deenergized equipment.
Grounding the lines and equipment is lines and equipment is essential except 54 As used throughout the rest of this discussion

used to protect employees from injury under limited circumstances. The and within proposed § 1926.962, the term
Agency is proposing to continue that ‘‘grounding’’ includes bonding. Technically,
should such reenergizing occur. grounding refers to the connection of a conductive
Grounding also provides protection approach here. In developing proposed part to ground, whereas bonding refers to
against induced voltages and static § 1926.962, OSHA eliminated redundant connecting conductive parts to each other.
charges on a line. (These induced and requirements from existing § 1926.954, However, for convenience, OSHA is using the term
‘‘grounding’’ to refer to both techniques of
static voltages can be high enough to consolidated related requirements from minimizing voltages to which an employee will be
endanger employees, either directly the existing standard, and strengthened exposed.

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proposed § 1926.961 and grounded. accidents in 269–Ex. 9–2 and 269–Ex. protective devices to interrupt the
Grounding could be omitted only if the 9–2A for those involving improper circuit. This provision, which has been
installation of a ground is impracticable protective grounding. There were nine taken from the first sentence of
(such as during the initial stages of work accidents in these two exhibits related § 1910.269(n)(4)(i), is contained in
on underground cables, when the to protective grounding. In three cases, paragraph (d)(1)(i) of proposed
conductor is not exposed for grounding) inadequate grounds were present. Based § 1926.962.
or if the conditions resulting from the on the fact that grounding is a backup The design of electric power
installation of a ground would introduce measure, intended to provide protection distribution lines operating at 600 volts
more serious hazards than work without only when all other safety-related work or less frequently provides a maximum
grounds. It is expected that conditions practices fail, OSHA concluded that this fault current and fault interrupting time
warranting the absence of protective was a significant incidence of faulty that exceeds the current carrying
grounds would be rare. grounding. capability of the circuit conductors. In
If grounds are not installed and the Grounding practices that do not other words, the maximum fault current
lines and equipment are to be treated as provide an equipotential zone in which on distribution secondaries of 600 volts
deenergized, however, precautions have an employee is safeguarded from voltage or less is typically high enough to melt
to be observed, and certain conditions differences do not provide complete the phase conductors carrying the fault
must be met. Obviously, the lines and protection. In case the line is current. If protective grounding
equipment would still have to be accidentally reenergized, voltages to equipment were required to carry the
deenergized by the procedures of which an employee would be exposed maximum amount of fault current
§ 1926.961. Also, there would have to be due to inadequate grounding would be without regard to whether the phase
no possibility of contact with another lethal, as can be seen by some of the conductors would fail, the size of the
source of voltage and no hazard of exhibits in the § 1910.269 rulemaking grounding equipment would be
induced voltage present. Since these record (269–Ex. 6–27, 57). The impractical. However, OSHA does not
precautions and conditions do not employee would be protected only if he interpret § 1910.269(n)(4)(i) to require
protect against the possible reenergizing or she is not in contact with the line protective grounding equipment to be
of the lines or equipment under all until the energy source is cleared by capable of carrying more current than
conditions, the omission of grounding is circuit protective devices. necessary to allow the phase conductors
permitted only in very limited For these reasons, OSHA is proposing to fail. A protective grounding jumper
circumstances. to require grounds that will protect sized slightly larger than a phase
Paragraph (f) of existing § 1926.954 employees in the event that the line or conductor would be sufficient to meet
allows grounds to be omitted without equipment on which they are working is the general industry standard, although
the additional restrictions proposed in reenergized. Proposed § 1926.962(c) the language of the first sentence of
§ 1926.962(b)(1) through (b)(3). would require protective grounds to be § 1910.269(n)(4)(i) does not make this
However, the existing standard requires so located and arranged that employees clear.
the lines or equipment to be treated as are not exposed to hazardous To clarify this requirement, OSHA is
energized in such cases. While the differences in potential. The proposal proposing, in § 1926.962(d)(1)(ii), to
proposal does not specifically permit would allow employers and employees permit, specifically, the use of
omitting grounds for conductors that are to use whatever grounding method they protective grounding equipment that
treated as energized, it does not require prefer as long as employees are would not be large enough to carry the
grounding unless the equipment is to be protected. For employees working at maximum fault current indefinitely but
considered as deenergized. (See the elevated positions on poles and towers, that would be large enough to carry this
discussion of proposed § 1926.960(b)(2), single point grounding may be current until the phase conductor
earlier in this section of the preamble.) necessary, together with grounding fails.55 This would be permitted only
Paragraph (f) of existing § 1926.954 straps to provide an equipotential zone under certain conditions. First, the
also addresses where grounds must be for the worker. Employees in insulated grounding equipment must be able to
placed. The existing standard requires aerial lifts working at midspan between carry the maximum fault current until
grounds to be placed between the work two conductor supporting structures the conductor being protected fails.
location and all sources of energy and may be protected by grounding at Second, the conductor must only be
as close as practicable to the work convenient points on both sides of the considered as grounded where it is
location. Alternatively, grounds could work area. Bonding the aerial lift to the protected by the grounding equipment.
be placed at the work location. If work grounded conductor would ensure that In other words, the portion of the phase
is to be performed at more than one the employee remains at the potential of conductor between the grounding
location, the existing standard would the conductor in case of a fault. Other equipment and the employee being
require the line section to be grounded methods may be necessary to protect protected must remain intact under fault
and short circuited at one location and workers on the ground, including conditions. Third, since the phase
would require the conductor on which grounding mats and insulating conductor will likely fall once it fails,
work is being performed to be grounded platforms. The Agency believes that this no employee must be in a position
at the work location. Although these performance-oriented approach would where they would be endangered by any
requirements are intended to protect provide the flexibility needed by failed conductor. OSHA has not
employees in case the line on which employers, but would also afford the restricted this provision to lines and
they are working is accidentally best protection to employees. equipment operating at 600 volts or less
reenergized, the existing provisions do Paragraph (d) of proposed § 1926.962 because the Agency believes that
not ensure that the grounding practices contains requirements that grounding employees would be protected with
and equipment are adequate to provide equipment would have to meet. So that these provisions regardless of voltage.
this protection. the protective grounding equipment However, OSHA requests comments on
OSHA proposed requirements similar does not fail, it would be required to the issue of whether or not proposed
to those in existing § 1926.954(f) when have an ampacity high enough so that
it proposed § 1910.269(n). In developing the fault current could be carried for the 55 OSHA is also proposing to make a similar

final § 1910.269(n), OSHA reviewed the amount of time necessary to allow change in § 1910.269.

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§ 1926.962(d)(1)(ii) should be restricted be grounded to be tested for voltage alternatives to enable protective grounds
to lines and equipment operating at 600 before a ground is installed. If a to be placed on this equipment in a
volts or less. previously installed ground is evident, manner that will still protect
Paragraph (d)(1)(iii) of § 1926.962 no test would need to be conducted. employees.56
would require protective grounding This requirement would prevent
It should be noted that, during the
equipment to have an ampacity of at energized equipment from being
least No. 2 AWG copper. This provision periods before the ground is installed
grounded, which could result in injury
would ensure that protective grounding and after it is removed, the line or
to the employee installing the ground.
equipment has a suitable minimum This requirement is the same as existing equipment involved must be considered
ampacity and mechanical strength. § 1926.954(d). as energized (under proposed
Under paragraph (d)(2), the Paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) propose § 1926.960(b)(2)). As a result, the
impedance of the grounding equipment procedures for installing and removing minimum approach distances specified
would be required to be low enough to grounds. To protect employees in the in proposed § 1926.960(c)(1) would
ensure the quick operation of the event that the ‘‘deenergized’’ equipment apply when grounds are installed or
protective devices. to be grounded is or becomes energized, removed.
Paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) help the proposal would require the With certain underground cable
ensure the prompt clearing of the circuit ‘‘equipment end’’ of the grounding installations, a fault at one location
supplying voltage to the point where the device to be applied last and removed along the cable can create a substantial
employee is working. Thus, the first and that a live-line tool be used for potential difference between the earth at
grounding equipment limits the both procedures in order to protect that location and the earth at other
duration and reduces the severity of any workers.
electric shock, though it does not itself locations. Under normal conditions, this
These provisions are similar to
prevent shock from occurring. (As is not a hazard. However, if an
existing § 1926.954(e)(1) and (e)(2),
discussed earlier, proposed employee is in contact with a remote
except that the existing standard
§ 1926.962(c) requires employees to be recognizes the use of a ‘‘suitable device’’ ground (by being in contact with a
protected from hazardous differences in in addition to a live-line tool. OSHA is conductor that is grounded at a remote
electrical potential.) OSHA has included concerned that this language implies station), he or she can be exposed to the
a note referencing the ASTM standard that rubber insulating gloves could be difference in potential (because he or
on protective grounding equipment used to install and remove grounds she is also in contact with the local
(ASTM F855–03) so that employers will under any circumstance. It should be ground). To protect employees in such
be able to find additional information noted that it is unsafe for an employee situations, proposed § 1926.962(g)
that may be helpful in their efforts to to be too close when connecting or would prohibit grounding cables at
comply with the standard. disconnecting a ground. Therefore, remote locations if a hazardous
Existing § 1926.954(h), (i), and (j) OSHA is proposing to eliminate the potential transfer could occur under
contain requirements relating to the phrase ‘‘or other insulated device’’ from fault conditions. This proposed
impedance and ampacity of personal the rule. OSHA will, however, consider provision has no counterpart in existing
protective grounds. Paragraph (i) any device that is insulated for the Subpart V.
requires tower clamps to have adequate voltage and that allows an employee to Proposed § 1926.962(h) addresses the
ampacity, and paragraph (j) contains the apply or remove the ground from a safe removal of grounds for test purposes.
same requirement for ground leads with position to be a live-line tool for the Under the proposal, grounds would be
an additional restriction that they be no purposes of § 1926.962(f)(1) and (f)(2). permitted to be removed for test
smaller than No. 2 AWG copper. These two paragraphs in the proposal
purposes. Existing Subpart V contains a
Paragraph (i) requires the impedance of are based on existing § 1910.269(n)(6)
comparable requirement in
a grounding electrode (if one is used) to and (n)(7). The proposal, however,
§ 1926.954(g). However, the existing
be low enough to remove the danger of would permit the use of insulated
equipment other than live-line tools to standard simply requires employees to
harm to employees or to permit prompt
operation of protective devices. attach protective grounds to, and to take extreme caution when grounds are
OSHA believes that the entire remove them from, lines and equipment removed for testing. OSHA does not
grounding system should be capable of operating at 600 volts or less, if the believe that the existing language
carrying the maximum fault current and employer ensures that the line or contains sufficient safeguards for
should have an impedance low enough equipment is not energized at the time employees. Therefore, the Agency is
to protect employees. The existing or if the employer can demonstrate that proposing performance criteria that
standard contains no requirements for the employee would be protected from testing procedures would be required to
the impedance of grounding conductors any hazard that could develop if the line meet. During the test procedure, the
or clamps, nor does it contain or equipment is energized. For example, employer would be required to ensure
requirements relating to the ampacity of test equipment could be connected to a that each employee uses insulating
grounding clamps other than tower line that is to be grounded, and the equipment and is isolated from any
clamps. By addressing specific portions protective ground could be applied by hazards involved, and the employer
of the grounding systems but not an employee wearing rubber gloves would be required to institute any
addressing others, the existing standard while the test equipment indicated that additional measures as may be
does not require complete protection for the line was deenergized. After the necessary to protect each exposed
employees. Because the proposal’s ground was in place the test equipment employee in case the previously
grounding requirements apply to the could be removed. grounded lines and equipment become
entire grounding system, OSHA believes Some electric utilities have energized. OSHA believes that the
that the proposal will provide better complained that lines and equipment proposal would protect employees
protection for employees than the operating at 600 volts or less cannot better than the existing rule.
existing rule. always accommodate the placement and
Paragraph (e) of § 1926.962 would removal of a protective ground by a line- 56 OSHA is also proposing to make similar

require lines and equipment that are to line tool. OSHA is proposing these changes in § 1910.269.

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Section 1926.963, Testing and Test Excluded from the scope of proposed (4) Periodic checks of field test areas.
Facilities § 1926.963 are routine inspection and Paragraph (b)(2) complements the
maintenance measurements made by general rule on the use of safe work
Proposed § 1926.963 contains safety qualified employees in accordance with practices in test areas with a proposed
work practices covering electrical established work practice rules where requirement that all employees involved
hazards arising out of the special testing the hazards associated with the use of in this type of work be trained in these
of lines and equipment (namely, in- intrinsic high-voltage or high-power safety test practices. This paragraph,
service and out-of-service, as well as sources require only those normal which makes explicit the types of
new, lines and equipment) to determine precautions peculiar to such periodic training required by the general training
maintenance needs and fitness for work. Obviously, the work practices for provisions in proposed § 1926.950(b),
service. Generally, the need to conduct these routine tests would have to would further require a periodic review
tests on new and idle lines and comply with the rest of proposed of these practices to be conducted from
equipment as part of normal checkout Subpart V. Because this type of testing time to time as a means of providing
procedures, in addition to maintenance poses hazards that are identical to other reemphasis and updating.
evaluation, is specified in the National types of routine electric power Although specific work practices used
Electrical Safety Code (ANSI C2). transmission and distribution work, in test areas are generally unique to the
Basically, as stated in paragraph (a), the OSHA believes that the requirements of particular test being conducted, three
rules would apply only to testing proposed Subpart V excluding basic elements affecting safety are
involving interim measurements § 1926.963 adequately protect commonly found to some degree at all
utilizing high voltage, high power, or employees performing these tests. Two test sites: guarding, grounding, and the
combinations of both, as opposed to typical examples of such excluded test safe utilization of control and measuring
testing involving continuous work procedures would be ‘‘phasing- circuits. By considering safe work
measurements as in routine metering, out’’ testing and testing for a ‘‘no practices in these three categories,
relaying and normal line work. voltage’’ condition. To clarify the scope OSHA has attempted to achieve a
Proposed § 1926.963 has been taken of this section, a note to this effect is performance-oriented standard
directly from § 1910.269(o). Existing included after paragraph (a). applicable to high-voltage and high-
Subpart V has no counterpart to these Paragraph (b)(1) of proposed power testing and test facilities.
proposed requirements. The Agency § 1926.963 would require employers to OSHA believes that guarding can best
believes that these high-voltage and establish work practices governing be achieved when it is provided both
high-current tests are performed during employees engaged in certain testing around and within test areas. By
construction work and that employers activities. These work practices are controlling access to all parts that are
would benefit by the inclusion of these intended to delineate precautions that likely to become energized by either
provisions within the construction employees must observe for protection direct or inductive coupling, the
standard in place of a reference to from the hazards of high-voltage or standard will prevent accidental contact
§ 1910.269. However, it may be that this high-power testing. For example, if by employees. Within test areas,
type of work is performed too high-voltage sources are used in the whether temporary or permanent, a
infrequently to warrant repeating the testing, employees would be required to degree of safety can be achieved by
requirements in Subpart V. OSHA follow the safety practices established observing guarding practices that
requests comments on the need to under paragraph (b)(1) to protect against control access to test areas. Paragraph
include proposed § 1926.963 in Subpart such typical hazards as inadvertent (c)(1) would therefore require that such
V. arcing or voltage overstress destruction, guarding be provided if the test
as well as accidental contact with equipment or apparatus under test may
For the purposes of these proposed become energized as part of the testing
objects that have become residually
requirements, high-voltage testing is by either direct or inductive coupling. A
charged by induced voltage from
assumed to involve voltage sources combination of guards and barriers is
electric field exposure. If high-power
having sufficient energy to cause injury intended to provide protection to all
sources are used in the testing,
and having magnitudes generally in employees in the vicinity.
employees would be required to follow
excess of 1,000 volts, nominal. High- Paragraph (c)(2) would require
established safety practices to protect
power testing involves sources where permanent test areas to be guarded by
against such typical hazards as ground
fault currents, load currents, having them completely enclosed by
voltage rise as well as exposure to
magnetizing currents, or line dropping walls or some other type of physical
excessive electromagnetically-caused
currents are used for testing, either at barrier. In the case of field testing,
physical forces associated with the
the rated voltage of the equipment paragraph (c)(3) attempts to achieve a
passage of heavy current.
under test or at lower voltages. Proposed These practices would apply to work level of safety for temporary test sites
§ 1926.963 covers such testing in performed at both permanent and comparable to that achieved in
laboratories, in shops and substations, temporary test areas (that is, areas laboratory test areas. For these areas, a
and in the field and on transmission and permanently located in the controlled barricade of tapes and cones or
distribution lines. environment of a laboratory or shop and observation by an attendant would be
Examples of typical special tests in in areas temporarily located in a non- acceptable methods of guarding.
which either high-voltage sources or controlled field environment). At a Proposed paragraph (c)(3) would accept
high-power sources are used as part of minimum, the safety work practices any barrier or barricade that provides a
operation and maintenance of electric include: means of limiting access to the test area
power transmission and distribution (1) Guarding the test area to prevent physically and visually equivalent to
systems include cable-fault locating, inadvertent contact with energized safety tape with signs or would accept
large capacitive load tests, high current parts, guarding by means of a test observer
fault-closure tests, insulation resistance (2) Safe grounding practices to be stationed where the entire test area
and leakage tests, direct-current proof observed, could be monitored.
tests, and other tests requiring direct (3) Precautions to be taken in the use Since the effectiveness of the
connection to power lines. of control and measuring circuits, and temporary guarding means can be

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severely compromised by failing to provide an exception to the requirement and low impedance which is bonded to
remove it when it is not required, for such an isolated ground return. The the vehicle at several points and is also
frequent safety checks must be made to exception would apply if the isolated bonded to an adequate number of driven
monitor its use. For example, leaving ground-return cannot be provided ground rods or, where available, to an
barriers in place for a week at a time because of the distance involved and if adequate number of accessible points on
when testing is performed only an hour employees are protected from hazardous the station ground grid. All bonding
or two per day is likely to result in step and touch potentials that may conductors must be of sufficient
disregard for the barriers. For this develop. Consideration must always be electrical size to keep the voltage
reason, paragraph (c)(4) would require given to the possibility of voltage developed during maximum anticipated
the temporary barriers to be removed gradients developing in the earth during current tests at a safe value. The mat
when they are no longer needed. impulse, short-circuit, inrush, or must be of a size that precludes
Suitable grounding is another oscillatory conditions. Such voltages simultaneous contact with the vehicle
important work practice that can be may appear between the feet of an and with the earth or with metallic
employed for the protection of observer, or between his or her body structures not adequately bonded to the
personnel from the hazards of high- and a grounded object, and are usually mat.
voltage or high-power testing. If high referred to as ‘‘step’’ and ‘‘touch’’ (2) Protection by insulation can be
currents are intentionally employed in potentials. Examples of acceptable accomplished, for example, by
the testing, an isolated ground-return protection from step and touch providing around the vehicle an area of
conductor, adequate for the service, is potentials include suitable electrical dry wooden planks covered with rubber
required so that no intentional passage protective equipment and the removal insulating blankets. The physical extent
of heavy current, with its attendant of employees from areas that may of the insulated area must be sufficient
voltage rise, will occur in the ground expose them to hazardous potentials. to prevent simultaneous contact with
grid or in the earth. Another safety Another grounding situation is the vehicle, or the ground lead of the
consideration involving grounding is recognized by paragraph (d)(4) in which vehicle, and with the earth or with
that all conductive parts accessible to grounding through the power cord of metallic structures in the vicinity.
the test operator during the time that the test equipment may be inadequate and (3) Protection by isolation can be
equipment is operating at high voltage actually increase the hazard to test implemented by providing an effective
be maintained at ground potential, operators. Normally, an equipment means to exclude personnel from any
except portions of the equipment that grounding conductor is required in the area where simultaneous contact could
are isolated from the test operator by power cord of test equipment to connect be made with the vehicle (or conductive
suitable guarding. Paragraph (d) it to a grounding connection in the parts electrically connected to the
proposes requirements for proper power receptacle. However, in some vehicle) and with other conductive
grounding at test sites. circumstances, this practice can prevent materials. A combination of barriers
Paragraph (d)(1) would require that satisfactory measurements, or current together with effective, interlocked gates
grounding practices be established and induced in the grounding conductor can may be employed to ensure that the
implemented for test facilities to ensure cause a hazard to personnel. If these system is deenergized when an
that unguarded conductive parts conditions exist, the use of the employee is entering or leaving the test
accessible to the operator are grounded equipment grounding conductor within area.
and that all ungrounded terminals of the cord would not be mandatory, and Finally, a third category of safe work
test equipment or apparatus under test paragraph (d)(4) would require that an practices applicable to employees
are treated as energized until reliably equivalent safety ground be provided. performing testing work, which
determined otherwise. Paragraph (d)(2) Paragraph (d)(5) would further require complements the first two safety work
would require visible grounds to be that a ground be placed on the high- practices of guarding and grounding,
properly applied before work is voltage terminal and any other exposed involves work practices associated with
performed on the circuit or item or terminals when the test area is entered the installation of control and
apparatus under test. after equipment is deenergized. In the measurement circuits utilized at test
Paragraph (d)(3) addresses hazards case of high capacitance equipment or facilities. Practices necessary for the
resulting from the use of inadequate apparatus, before a direct ground can be protection of personnel and equipment
ground-returns in which a voltage rise applied, the initial grounding discharge from the hazards of high-voltage or
in the ground grid or in the earth can would have to be accomplished through high-power testing must be observed for
result whenever high currents are a resistor having an adequate energy every test where special signal-gathering
employed in the testing. Test personnel rating. equipment is used (that is, meters,
who may be exposed to such potentials Paragraph (d)(6) recognizes the oscilloscopes, and other special
would be required to be protected from hazards associated with field testing in instruments). In addition, special
the hazards involved. This paragraph which test trailers or test vehicles are settings of protective relays and the
would require the use of an isolated used. In addition to proposing that the reexamination of backup schemes may
ground return so that no intentional chassis of such vehicles be grounded, be necessary to ensure an adequate level
passage of current, with its attendant paragraph (d)(6) provides for a of safety during the tests or to minimize
voltage rise, could occur in the ground performance-oriented approach by the effects of the testing on other parts
grid or in the earth. However, under proposing that protection be provided of the system under test. As a
some conditions (such as system fault against hazardous touch potentials by consequence, paragraphs (e)(1) through
testing), it may be necessary to perform bonding, by insulation, or by isolation. (e)(3) address the principal safe work
the test under actual operating The protection provided by each of practices involving control and
conditions, or it may otherwise be these methods is described in the measuring circuit utilization within the
impractical to provide an isolated following examples: test area.
ground return. In such cases, it would (1) Protection by bonding can be Generally, control and measuring
not be reasonable to require an isolated effected by providing, around the circuit wiring should remain within the
ground-return conductor system. vehicle, an area covered by a metallic test area. If this is not possible, however,
Therefore, paragraph (d)(3) would mat or mesh of substantial cross-section paragraph (e)(1) proposes requirements

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to minimize hazards should it become person responsible for the testing verify, performed. For example, if the work
necessary to have the test wiring routed before the initiation of a continuous involves removing and reinstalling an
outside the test area. Cables and other period of testing, the status of a general existing line on a utility pole, the pole
wiring would have to be contained group of safety conditions. These will be subjected to the weight of the
within a grounded metallic sheath and conditions include the state of guards employee (a vertical force) and to the
terminated in a grounded metal and status signals, the marking and release and replacement of the force
enclosure, or other precautions would availability of disconnects, the imposed by the overhead line (a vertical
have to be taken to provide equivalent provision of ground connections and and possibly a horizontal force). The
safety, such as guarding the area so that personal protective equipment, and the additional stress involved may cause the
employees do not have access to parts separation of circuits. pole to break, particularly if the pole has
that might rise to hazardous potentials. rotted at its base. If the pole or structure
Paragraph (e)(2) covers the avoidance Section 1926.964, Overhead Lines
cannot withstand the loads to be
of possible hazards arising from Proposed § 1926.964 would apply to imposed, it would have to be reinforced
inadvertent contact with energized work involving overhead lines or so that failure does not occur. This rule
accessible terminals or parts of meters equipment. The types of work would protect employees from hazards
and other test instruments. Meters with performed on overhead lines and posed by the failure of the pole or other
such terminals or parts would have to addressed by this paragraph include the elevated structure. This requirement,
be isolated from test personnel. installation and removal of overhead which is equivalent to existing
Work practices involving the proper lines, live-line bare-hand work, and § 1926.955(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(4), has
routing and connection of temporary work on towers and structures. While been taken from § 1910.269(q)(1)(i).
wiring to protect against damage are performing this type of work, employees As the last step in ascertaining
covered in paragraph (e)(3). This are typically exposed to the hazards of whether a wood pole is safe to climb, as
paragraph would also require the falls and electric shock. would be required under paragraph
various functional wiring used for the Section 1926.955 of existing Subpart (a)(2), checking the actual condition of
test set-up to be kept separate, to the V covers overhead lines. Several the pole is important because of the
maximum extent possible, in order to requirements in the existing standard possibility of decay and other
minimize the coupling of hazardous are redundant, and OSHA believes that conditions adversely affecting the
voltages into the control and measuring the existing section is poorly organized. strength of the pole. Appendix D of final
circuits. For example, paragraphs (c) and (d) both § 1910.269 contains methods of
A final safety work practice apply to the installation of lines parallel inspecting and testing the condition of
requirement related to control circuits is to existing lines. Existing paragraph wood structures before they are
addressed by paragraph (e)(4). This (c)(3) requires lines being installed climbed. These methods, which can be
paragraph would require the presence of where there is a danger of hazardous used in ascertaining whether a wood
a test observer who can, in cases of induced voltage to be grounded unless pole is capable of sustaining the forces
emergency, immediately deenergize all provisions are made to isolate or imposed by an employee climbing it,
test circuits for safety purposes. insulate employees. Paragraph (d)(1) of have been taken from Appendix D to
Since the environment in which field existing § 1926.955 contains a similar § 1910.269. It should be noted that the
tests are conducted differs in important requirement, and the rest of paragraph employer would also be required to
respects from that of laboratory tests, (d) specifies exactly how the grounding ascertain whether the pole is capable of
extra care must be taken to ensure is to be installed. sustaining any additional forces that
appropriate levels of safety. Permanent Paragraph (q) of § 1910.269 also will be imposed during the work.
fences and gates for isolating the field addresses work on overhead lines. OSHA realizes that the employee at
test area are not usually provided, nor OSHA believes that the newer standard the worksite will be the one to inspect
is there a permanent conduit for the is much better organized, contains no the structure for deterioration and will
instrumentation and control wiring. As redundancies, and better protects also determine whether it is safe to
a further hazard, there may be other employees than the older construction climb. However, it is the employer’s
sources of high-voltage electric energy standard. Therefore, the Agency has responsibility to ensure that this is
in the vicinity in addition to the source used § 1910.269(q), rather than accomplished, regardless of who
of test voltage. § 1926.955, as the base document in performs the work. Additionally, some
It is not always possible in the field developing proposed § 1926.964. OSHA work might involve changing the
to prevent ingress of persons into a test has, however, taken requirements that loading on the structure. For example,
area physically, as is accomplished by pertain specifically to construction work replacement transformers might be
the fences and interlocked gates of the from existing § 1926.955 and heavier, and the equipment needed to
laboratory environment. Consequently, incorporated them into the proposal. perform the work will impose extra
readily recognizable means are required Paragraph (q) of § 1910.269 does not stress on the pole. The employee in the
to discourage such ingress; and, before contain these requirements, because it field is not necessarily skilled in
test potential or current is applied to a does not apply to construction. For structural engineering, and a
test area, the test operator in charge example, existing § 1926.955(b) applies determination as to whether or not the
must ensure that all necessary barriers to metal tower construction, and no pole could withstand the stresses
are in place. comparable provisions are contained in involved would almost always need to
As a consequence of these safety § 1910.269. OSHA is therefore be performed by the employer’s
considerations, paragraph (f)(1) would proposing requirements from engineering staff. (Typically, this task is
call for a safety check to be made at § 1926.955(b). performed in the initial design of the
temporary or field test areas at the Paragraph (a)(2) of proposed system or when changes are made.) For
beginning of each group of continuous § 1926.964 would require the employer this reason, OSHA believes it is
tests (that is, a series of tests conducted to determine that elevated structures necessary to specify in the standard the
one immediately after another). such as poles and towers are of adequate employer’s responsibility in this regard.
Paragraph (f)(2) would require that, as a strength to withstand the stresses that However, the Agency expects the
minimum for the safety check, the will be imposed by the work to be determination of the condition of the

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pole or structure to be made at the contained in this paragraph have been work location. (See the discussion of
worksite by an employee who is capable taken from § 1910.269(q)(2), which was proposed § 1926.958(d)(3) and
of making this determination. The based in large part on existing Appendix C to Subpart V for acceptable
employer fulfills the obligation imposed § 1926.955(c) (stringing and removing methods of compliance.)
by the standard by ensuring that the lines) and § 1926.955(d) (stringing Paragraph (b)(3) of proposed
design of support structures is sound, by adjacent to energized lines). However, § 1926.964 would require the disabling
training his or her employees in proper the proposed rule, like § 1910.269(q)(2), of the automatic-reclosing feature of the
inspection and evaluation techniques, combines these provisions into a single devices protecting any circuit that
and by enforcing company rules that paragraph (b). OSHA believes that the operates at more than 600 volts and that
adhere to the standard. proposed provisions, which combine passes under conductors being installed.
When poles are handled near and simplify the construction If it is not made inoperative, this feature
overhead lines, it is necessary to protect requirements for stringing overhead would cause the circuit protective
the pole from contact with the lines. lines, will be easier for employers and devices to reenergize the circuit after
Paragraph (a)(3)(i) of proposed employees to understand. they had tripped, exposing the
§ 1926.964 would prohibit letting the Proposed § 1926.964(b)(1) would employees to additional or more severe
pole come into direct contact with the require precautions to be taken to injury.
overhead lines. Measures commonly prevent the line being installed or Paragraph (b)(1) of proposed
used to prevent such contact include removed from contacting existing § 1926.964 would require the use of
installation of insulating guards on the energized power lines. Common techniques that minimize the possibility
pole and pulling conductors away from methods of accomplishing this include of contact between the existing and new
the area where the pole will go. This the use of the following techniques: conductors. Paragraph (b)(2) of
provision, which is equivalent to stringing conductors by means of the proposed § 1926.964 would require the
existing § 1926.955(a)(5)(i), has been tension stringing method (which keeps use of measures that protect employees
taken from § 1910.269(q)(1)(ii). the conductors off the ground and clear from hazardous differences in potential.
Paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of proposed of energized circuits) and the use of These two paragraphs provide the
§ 1926.964 would require employees rope nets and guards (which physically primary protection to employees
handling the poles to be insulated from prevent one line from contacting installing conductors. Paragraph (b)(3) is
the pole. This provision has been taken another). These precautions, or a redundant form of protection; it
from § 1910.269(q)(1)(iii). The equivalent measures, are necessary to provides an additional measure of safety
comparable provision in protect employees against electric shock in case the first two provisions are
§ 1926.955(a)(6)(i) prohibits employees and against the effects of equipment violated.57 Therefore, this paragraph
from contacting mechanized equipment damage resulting from accidental would apply only to circuit reclosing
used to set, move, or remove poles, contact of the line being installed with devices that are designed to permit the
unless the employees are using energized parts. disabling of the automatic reclosing
electrical protective equipment. OSHA Even though the precautions taken feature. The Agency believes that the
has proposed to cover hazards of using under paragraph (b)(1) minimize the combination of these three paragraphs
mechanical equipment near energized possibility of accidental contact, there is in proposed § 1926.964 will provide
parts in § 1926.958, discussed earlier in still a significant risk that the line being effective protection against the electrical
this section of the preamble. The installed or removed could contact hazards associated with installing or
Agency believes that the proposal will energized lines. OSHA believes that the removing lines near energized parts.
eliminate the redundant and conflicting hazards posed during line installation or Paragraph (b)(4) proposes rules
requirements contained in existing removal are equivalent to those posed protecting workers from the hazard of
Subpart V. Similarly, existing during the operations of mechanical voltage induced on lines being installed
§ 1926.955(a)(5)(ii), (a)(6)(ii), and (a)(8) equipment near energized parts. near (and usually parallel to) other
are not being carried forward into this Employees are exposed to hazardous energized lines. These rules, which
proposal, because the hazards they differences in potential if the conductor provide supplemental provisions on
address (those related to operation of being installed or equipment being used grounding, would be in addition to
mechanical equipment near energized makes contact with an energized line. those elsewhere in the standard. In
parts) are already adequately covered The methods of protection that can be general, when employees may be
under proposed § 1926.958. applied are also the same in both cases. exposed to the hazard of induced
Paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (a)(3)(ii) Therefore, the Agency believes that the voltage on overhead lines, the lines
would protect employees from hazards approach used for the hazard of contact being installed must be grounded to
caused by falling power lines and by between mechanical equipment and minimize the voltage and to protect
contact of the pole with the line. They overhead lines should also be used for employees handling the lines from
would be in addition to the the hazard of contact between a line electric shock.
requirements in proposed § 1926.958(d) being installed or removed and an Paragraph (b)(4) of proposed
for operations involving mechanical existing energized conductor. To § 1926.964 would require a
equipment. accomplish this, paragraph (b)(2) of determination of the ‘‘approximate’’
To protect employees from falling into proposed § 1926.964 simply adopts the voltage, unless the line being installed
holes into which poles are to be placed, requirements of § 1926.958(d)(3) by is assumed to carry a hazardous induced
paragraph (a)(3)(iii) would require the reference when conductors are installed voltage. Additionally, workers would be
holes to be guarded by barriers or or removed close enough to energized
attended by employees. This provision, conductors that certain failures could 57 Disabling the reclosing feature of circuit
which is equivalent to existing energize the pulling or tensioning protective devices does not provide any protection
§ 1926.955(a)(7), has been taken from equipment in use or the cable being against the initial contact with the energized circuit
§ 1910.269(q)(1)(iv). installed or removed. Basically, the involved. It only prevents the devices from
reenergizing the circuit after they open it on a fault
Paragraph (b) of proposed § 1926.964 employer would be required to institute condition as would occur, for example, when a line
addresses the installation and removal measures to protect employees from being strung by employee drops onto an energized
of overhead lines. The provisions hazardous differences in potential at the conductor.

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able to treat the line as energized rather failure of the equipment, conductors, on live lines under all conditions. In
than comply with the additional and supporting structures, which could such cases, usually on medium- and
grounding requirements contained in result in injury to workers. high-voltage transmission lines, the
this paragraph. Prevention of the failure of the line work is performed using the live-line
The proposal does not provide pulling equipment and accessories is bare-hand technique. If work is to be
specific guidance for determining also the purpose of paragraphs (b)(6), performed ‘‘bare handed,’’ the employee
whether or not a hazard exists due to (b)(7), and (b)(8). These provisions, works from an insulated aerial platform
induced voltage. The hazard depends respectively, would require the and is electrically bonded to the
not only on the voltage of the existing operation to be performed within the energized line. Since there is essentially
line, but also on the length of the line load limits of the equipment, would no potential difference across the
being installed and the distance require the repair or replacement of worker’s body, he or she is protected
between the existing line and the new defective apparatus, and would prohibit from electric shock. Paragraph (c) of
one. Electric shock, whether caused by the use of conductor grips not proposed § 1926.964 addresses the live-
induced or other voltage, poses two specifically designed for use in pulling line bare-hand technique.
different hazards. First, the electric operations. Equipment that has been Proposed § 1926.964(c) has been taken
shock could cause an involuntary damaged beyond manufacturing directly from § 1910.269(q)(3). Existing
reaction, which could cause a fall or specifications or that has been damaged § 1926.955(e) contains similar
other injury. Second, the electric shock to the extent that its load ratings would requirements for live-line bare hand
itself could cause respiratory or cardiac be reduced are considered to be work. Substantive differences between
arrest. If no precautions are taken to defective. Load limits and design the proposal and the existing rule are
protect employees from hazards specifications are normally provided by outlined in the following summary and
associated with involuntary reactions the manufacturer, but they can also be explanation of proposed § 1926.964(c).
from electric shock, a hazard is found in engineering and materials Because live-line bare-hand work is
presumed to exist if the induced voltage handbooks (see, for example, The performed on overhead lines, OSHA has
is sufficient to pass a current of 1 Lineman’s and Cableman’s Handbook, proposed to place requirements for this
milliampere through a 500-ohm resistor. 269–Ex. 8–5). type of work in the section relating to
(The 500-ohm resistor represents the When the tension stringing method is work on overhead lines. This is
resistance of an employee. The 1 used, the pulling rig (which takes up the consistent with existing Subpart V.
milliampere current is the threshold of pulling rope and thereby pulls the However, it is technically possible to
perception.) If employees are protected conductors into place) is separated from perform live-line bare-hand work on
from injury due to involuntary reactions the reel stands and tensioner (which pay other types of installations as well (in
from electric shock, a hazard is out the conductors and apply tension to substations, for example). OSHA
presumed to exist if the resultant them) by one or more spans (the requests comments on whether or not
current would be more than 6 distance between the structures the live-line bare-hand requirements
milliamperes (the let-go threshold for supporting the conductors). In an should be consolidated with the other
women). It would be up to the employer emergency, the pulling equipment regulations relating to work on
to ensure that employees are protected operator may have to shut down the energized lines contained in proposed
against serious injury from any voltages operation. Paragraph (b)(9) of proposed § 1926.960.
induced on lines being installed and to § 1926.964 would require Paragraph (c)(1) would require
determine whether the voltages are high communication to be maintained employees using or supervising the use
enough to warrant the adoption of the between the reel tender and the pulling of the live-line bare-hand method on
additional provisions on grounding rig operator, so that in case of energized lines to be trained in the use
spelled out in paragraphs (b)(4)(i) emergency at the conductor supply end, of the technique. Periodic retraining
through (b)(4)(v) of proposed the pulling rig operator can shut the would have to be provided as required
§ 1926.964. These rules propose the equipment down before injury-causing under paragraph (b) of proposed
following requirements: damage occurs. § 1926.950. Without this training,
(1) Grounds must be installed in Paragraph (b)(10) would prohibit the employees would not be able to perform
increments of no more than 2 miles operation of the pulling rig under unsafe the highly specialized work safely.
(paragraph (b)(4)(i)); conditions. OSHA has included an Before work can be started, the
(2) Grounds must remain in place explanatory note following paragraph voltage of the lines on which work is to
until the installation is completed (b)(10) providing examples of unsafe be performed must be known. This
between dead ends (paragraph (b)(4)(ii)); conditions. voltage determines the minimum
(3) Grounds must be removed as the Paragraph (b)(11) would prohibit approach distances and the types of
last phase of aerial cleanup (paragraph employees from unnecessarily working equipment which can be used. If the
(b)(4)(iii)); directly beneath overhead operations or voltage is higher than expected, the
(4) Grounds must be installed at each on the cross arm. This provision would minimum approach distance will be too
work location and at all open dead-end minimize exposure of employees to small and the equipment may not be
or catch-off points or the next adjacent injury resulting from the failure of safe for use. Therefore, paragraph (c)(2)
structure (paragraph (b)(4)(iv)) if equipment, conductors, or supporting of proposed § 1926.964 would require a
employees are working on bare structures during pulling operations. determination to be made of the voltage
conductors; and Under certain conditions, work must of the circuit, of the minimum approach
(5) Bare conductors being spliced be performed on transmission and distances to ground of lines and other
must be bonded and grounded distribution lines while they remain energized parts on which work is to be
(paragraph (b)(4)(v)). energized. Sometimes, this work is performed, and of the voltage
Paragraph (b)(5) would require reel accomplished using rubber insulating limitations of equipment to be used.
handling equipment to be in safe equipment or live-line tools. However, Because an employee performing live-
operating condition and to be leveled this equipment has voltage and other line bare-hand work is at the same
and aligned. Proper alignment of the limitations which make it impossible to potential as the line on which he or she
stringing machines will help prevent insulate the employee performing work is working, the employee has exposure

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to two different voltages. First, the employees have no other back-up stick is used to bring a bonding jumper
employee is exposed to the phase-to- system providing for their safety as they (already connected to the conductive
ground voltage with respect to any would for work on deenergized lines.59 bucket liner) into contact with the live
grounded object, such as a pole or Thus, if the employee causes a fault on line. This connection brings the
tower. Second, the employee is exposed the line, the line must not become equipotential area surrounding the
to the full phase-to-phase voltage with reenergized automatically. employee to the same voltage as that of
respect to the other phases on the Sometimes the weather makes live- the line. Proposed § 1926.964(c)(7)
circuit. Thus, there are two sets of line bare-hand work unsafe. For would require the conductive device to
minimum approach distances example, lightning strikes on lines being be bonded to the energized conductor
applicable to live-line bare-hand work- worked can create severe transient before any employee contacts the
one for the phase-to-ground exposure voltages, against which the minimum energized conductor and would require
(the distance from the employee to a approach distances required by this connection to be maintained until
grounded object) and one for the phase- proposed § 1926.960(c)(1) may not work is completed. Proposed
to-phase exposure (the distance from the provide complete protection. § 1926.964(c)(7), which has been taken
employee to another phase). The phase- Additionally, the wind can reduce the from § 1910.269(q)(3)(vii), is essentially
to-phase voltage is higher than the minimum approach distance below identical to existing § 1926.955(e)(14).
phase-to-ground voltage. Consequently, acceptable values. To provide protection Proposed § 1926.964(c)(8) would
the phase-to-phase-based minimum against environmental conditions that require aerial lifts used for live-line
approach distance is greater than the can increase the hazards by an bare-hand work to be equipped with
phase-to-ground-based minimum unacceptable degree, proposed upper controls that are within reach of
approach distance. paragraph (c)(5) would prohibit live-line any employee in the bucket and with
Paragraph (c)(3) would require bare-hand work under conditions that lower controls that permit override
insulated tools and equipment to be make the work hazardous in spite of the operation at the base of the boom. Upper
designed, tested, and intended for live- precautions taken under the proposed controls are necessary so that employees
line bare-hand work and that they be rule. Also, work would not be allowed in the bucket can precisely control the
kept clean and dry. This requirement is under any conditions that reduce the lift’s direction and speed of approach to
important to ensure that equipment minimum approach distances below the live line. Control by workers on the
does not fail under constant contact required values. If insulating guards are ground responding to directions from
with high voltage sources. The proposed provided to prevent hazardous approach those in the bucket could lead to contact
rule would apply to insulated tools to other energized parts and to ground, by an employee in the lift with the
(such as live-line tools), insulated then work could be performed under energized conductor before the bonding
equipment (such as insulated ladders), conditions reducing the minimum jumper is in place. Controls are needed
and aerial devices and platforms used in approach distances. at ground level, however, so that
live-line work. The Agency considers Existing § 1926.955(e)(6) prohibits employees in the lift who might be
insulated equipment that is designed for live-line bare-hand work only during disabled as a result of an accident or
long-duration contact with energized thunderstorms. OSHA believes that illness could be promptly lowered and
parts at the voltage on which it is used expanding the prohibition to include assisted. For this reason, paragraph
(such as a live-line tool) to meet this any weather condition making it unsafe (c)(9) would prohibit operation of the
requirement. Insulating equipment to perform this type of work will better ground level controls except in case of
designed for brush contact only is not protect employees. The language for the emergency. Proposed paragraphs (c)(8)
suitable for live-line bare-hand work. proposed rule has been taken from and (c)(9), which have been taken from
Paragraph (c)(4) would require the § 1910.269(q)(3)(v). § 1910.269(q)(3)(viii) and (q)(3)(ix), are
automatic-reclosing feature of circuit Proposed § 1926.964(c)(6) would essentially identical to existing
protective devices to be made require the use of a conductive device, § 1926.955(e)(12) and (e)(13).
inoperative if the design of those usually in the form of a conductive Proposed § 1926.964(c)(10) would
devices permits. In case of a fault at the bucket liner, which creates an area of require all aerial lift controls to be
equipotential in which the employee checked to ensure that they are in
worksite, it is important for the circuit
can work safely. The employee must be proper working order before any
to be deenergized as quickly as possible
bonded to this device by means of employee is lifted into the working
and for it to remain deenergized once
conductive shoes or leg clips or by position. This paragraph, which has
the protective devices have opened the
another effective method. Additionally, been taken from § 1910.269(q)(3)(x), is
circuit.58 This prevents any possible
if necessary to protect employees further essentially identical to existing
injuries from becoming more severe.
(that is, if differences in electrical § 1926.955(e)(10).
Additionally, this measure helps limit To protect employees on the ground
the possible switching surge voltage, potential at the worksite pose a hazard
from the electric shock that would be
which provides an extra measure of to employees), electrostatic shielding
received upon touching the truck
safety. This provision is comparable to would be required. Proposed
supporting the aerial lift, proposed
existing § 1926.955(e)(5), which requires § 1926.964(c)(6), which has been taken
§ 1926.964(c)(11) would require the
this feature to be rendered inoperable from § 1910.269(q)(3)(vi), is essentially
truck to be grounded or barricaded and
‘‘where practical.’’ The proposal identical to existing § 1926.955(e)(7).
treated as energized. If the truck is
eliminates this phrase because OSHA To avoid receiving a shock caused by
grounded, the insulation of the lift
believes that it is essential that a line charging current, the employee must
limits the voltage on the body of the
which becomes deenergized on a fault bond the conductive bucket liner (or
truck to a safe level. The proposed rule,
not be reenergized if it is possible to do other conductive device) to the
which has been taken from
so. During live-line bare-hand work, energized conductor before he or she
§ 1910.269(q)(3)(xi), is similar to
touches the conductor. Typically, a hot
58 If the circuit protective devices do not provide
existing § 1926.955(e)(9). The existing
an autoreclosing feature, the circuit will remain 59 Personal protective grounding provides requirement in Subpart V, however, also
deenergized by design. In addition, voltage surges supplementary protection in case the deenergized includes a provision for using the
caused by circuit reclosing would not occur. line is reenergized. outriggers on the aerial lift to stabilize

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the equipment. The hazard addressed by through Table V–6 to be maintained Proposed §§ 1926.964(c)(17) would
this provision is covered in proposed from grounded objects and from objects prohibit passing uninsulated equipment
§ 1926.959(b)(1), discussed earlier in at a potential different from that at or materials to an employee bonded to
this section of the preamble. which the bucket is energized. These an energized part. Passing uninsulated
Aerial lifts that are used in live-line provisions, which are based on objects to an employee who is bonded
bare-hand work are exposed to the full § 1910.269(q)(3)(xiii), (q)(3)(iv), and to an energized conductor would bridge
line-to-ground voltage of the circuit for (q)(3)(v), are essentially identical to the insulation to ground and endanger
the duration of the job. To ensure that existing § 1926.955(e)(15), (e)(16), and the employee. This proposed provision,
the insulating value of the lift being (e)(17), except for the change in the which is based on § 1910.269(q)(3)(xvii),
used is high enough to protect minimum approach distances. (See the has no counterpart in existing
employees, proposed § 1926.964(c)(12) summary and explanation of proposed § 1926.955(e).
would require a boom-current test to be § 1926.960(c)(1) for a discussion of the Proposed § 1926.964(c)(18) would
made before work is started each day. derivation of minimum approach require a durable nonconductive chart
The test would also be required when a distances.) Paragraph (c)(13) would reflecting the minimum approach
higher voltage is encountered and when apply to minimum approach distances distances prescribed by Table V–2
conditions change to a degree that in general; paragraph (c)(14) would through Table V–6 to be mounted so
warrants retesting the equipment. cover minimum approach distances to that it is visible to the operator of the
Under the standard, the test consists be used as the employee approaches or boom. Of course, a table prescribing
of placing the bucket in contact with a leaves the energized conductor; and minimum approach distances greater
source of voltage equal to that being paragraph (c)(15) relates to the distance than those required would also be
encountered during the job and keeping between the bucket and the end of a acceptable. This provision, which has
it there for at least 3 minutes. This is bushing or insulator string. The latter been taken from § 1910.269(q)(3)(xviii),
normally accomplished at the worksite two paragraphs clarify that the is essentially identical to existing
by placing the bucket in contact with employee and the bucket are considered § 1926.955(e)(20)(i).
the energized line on which work is to to be at phase potential as the employee Proposed § 1926.964(c)(19) would
be performed (without anyone in it, of is approaching the energized part and require a non-conductive measuring
course). that the phase-to-ground minimum device to be available and readily
Paragraph (c)(12), which has been approach distance must be maintained accessible to the employee in the lift.
taken from § 1910.269(q)(3)(xii), is from grounded objects. Similarly, the This provision has been taken from
similar to existing § 1926.955(e)(11). To employee must maintain the phase-to- § 1910.269(q)(3)(xix). Existing
provide employees with a level of phase minimum approach distance from § 1926.955(e)(20)(ii) recommends, but
protection equivalent to that provided the other phases on the system. OSHA does not require, an insulating
by American National Standard for requests comments on whether measuring device. OSHA believes that
Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating proposed paragraphs (c)(14) and (c)(15) this should be a requirement, rather
Aerial Devices (ANSI A92.2–2001), should address objects at different phase than a recommendation, so that
§ 1926.964(c)(12) proposes to permit a potential in addition to objects at employees can accurately determine
leakage current of up to 1 microampere ground potential. whether the required minimum
per kilovolt of nominal phase-to-ground Proposed paragraph (c)(16) would approach distances are being
voltage. In contrast, the corresponding prohibit the use of hand lines between maintained. Under the existing
provision in existing § 1926.955(e)(11) the bucket and boom and between the standard, an employee might be
allows up to 1 microampere of current bucket and ground. Such use of lines required by the employer to estimate the
for every kilovolt of phase-to-phase could set up a potential difference distance. Compliance with paragraphs
voltage. (For a three-phase, Y-connected between the employee in the bucket and (c)(18) and (c)(19) in proposed
system, the phase-to-phase voltage the power line when the employee § 1926.964 would assist the employee in
equals 1.73 times the phase-to-ground contacts the hand line. If the hand line accurately determining the minimum
voltage.) Because the national consensus is a nonconductive type and if it is not approach distances required by the
standard and § 1910.269(q)(3)(xii) supported from the bucket, it may be standard.
contain the more protective language, used from the conductor to ground. Existing § 1926.955(e)(19) prohibits an
OSHA is proposing the maximum Unless the rope is insulated for the aerial lift used in live-line bare-hand
leakage current of 1 microampere per voltage, employees on the ground must work from being overstressed while
kilovolt of phase-to-ground voltage from treat it as energized. Lastly, ropes used lifting or supporting weights. OSHA has
the general industry standard. for live-line bare-hand work may not be not proposed to include this
Proposed § 1926.964(c)(12) would used for other purposes. requirement under § 1926.964. The
also require the suspension of related This provision, which has been taken hazard addressed by the existing
work activity any time (not only during from § 1910.269(q)(3)(xvi), is similar to requirement is a general hazard, which
tests) a malfunction of the equipment is existing § 1926.955(e)(18). However, the is present any time the aerial lift is used,
evident. This proposed requirement is existing standard, in not just during live-line bare-hand work.
intended to prevent the failure of § 1926.955(e)(18)(ii), prohibits OSHA believes that this hazard is better
insulated aerial devices during use. conductive materials over 36 inches treated in proposed § 1926.959(c),
Only work from an aerial lift is affected. long from being placed in the aerial lift which would require mechanical
Work not involving an aerial lift could bucket. Exceptions are made for equipment to be operated within its
be continued. Halting work from the lift ‘‘appropriate length jumpers, armor design limitations.
will protect employees in the lift, as rods, and tools.’’ OSHA is proposing to Paragraph (d) of proposed § 1926.964
well as those on the ground, from the revoke this requirement. The proposal addresses hazards associated with
electrical hazards involved. would require the minimum approach towers and other structures supporting
Proposed paragraphs (c)(13), (c)(14), distance to be maintained regardless of overhead lines. This paragraph has been
and (c)(15) of proposed § 1926.964 the length of any conductive object. taken from § 1910.269(q)(4).
would require the minimum approach Thus, existing § 1926.955(e)(18)(ii) is Paragraph (b) of existing § 1926.955
distances specified in Table V–2 unnecessary. addresses metal tower construction.

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Many of the requirements in the existing redundancy presented by these two easily be injured in the course of
rules cover the same hazards as other existing requirements. jumping into subsurface enclosures or
provisions in the construction Paragraph (d)(3) of proposed in climbing on the cables and hangers
standards. For example, § 1926.964 would require loadlines to which have been installed in these
§ 1926.955(b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) remain in place until the load is secured enclosures, the standard requires the
address hazards associated with footing so that it cannot topple and injure an use of appropriate devices for
excavations. Power transmission and employee. This provision, which has employees entering and exiting
distribution workers are fully protected been taken from § 1910.269(q)(4)(iii), is manholes and vaults. The practice of
from these hazards by Subpart P of Part essentially identical to climbing on equipment such as cables
1926.60 Therefore, the proposed revision § 1926.955(b)(4)(iii) and (b)(6)(iii). The and cable hangers is specifically
of Subpart V contains no counterparts to proposal eliminates the redundancy
prohibited by paragraph (b). This
these existing requirements. Existing presented by these two existing
proposed provision has been taken from
paragraphs (b)(5)(i) and (b)(7) contain requirements.
Some weather conditions can make § 1910.269(t)(1). Subpart V contains no
simple references to other Part 1926 counterpart to this requirement.
requirements. Existing paragraphs work from towers and other overhead
(b)(5)(iii), (b)(6)(i), (b)(6)(v), and (b)(8), structures more hazardous than usual. Paragraph (c) of proposed § 1926.965
which address a few of the hazards For example, icy conditions may make would require equipment used to lower
associated with mechanical equipment, slips and falls much more likely, in fact materials and tools into manholes or
contain requirements that are equivalent even unavoidable. Under such vaults to be capable of supporting the
to provisions in existing Subpart N of conditions, work from towers and other weight and requires this equipment to
Part 1926 or proposed § 1926.959. The structures would generally be be checked for defects before use.
proposed revision of Subpart V contains prohibited by proposed Paragraph (c) would also require
counterparts to none of these six § 1926.964(d)(4). However, when employees to be in the clear when tools
paragraphs. OSHA believes that emergency restoration work 61 is or materials are lowered into the
eliminating these provisions will reduce involved, the additional risk may be enclosure. This provision protects
redundancy and will eliminate the necessary for public safety, and the employees against being injured by
potential for conflicts between different standard permits such work to be falling tools and material. It should be
standards. performed even in bad weather. This
noted that, because work addressed by
To protect employees on the ground provision, which has been taken from
this paragraph exposes employees to the
from hazards presented by falling § 1910.269(q)(4)(iv), is essentially
identical to existing § 1926.955(b)(6)(iv). danger of head injury, § 1926.95(a)
objects, proposed § 1926.964(d)(1) requires employees to wear head
would prohibit workers from standing Section 1926.965, Underground protection when they are working in
under a tower or other structure, unless Electrical Installations underground electrical installations.
their presence is necessary to assist In many electric distribution systems, Proposed paragraph (c) has been taken
employees working above. This electric equipment is installed in from § 1910.269(t)(2). Subpart V
provision, which has been taken from enclosures, such as manholes and contains no counterpart to this
§ 1910.269(q)(4)(i), is equivalent to vaults, set beneath the earth. Proposed requirement.
existing § 1926.955(b)(4)(i) and (b)(5)(ii). § 1926.965 addresses safety for these
The proposal eliminates the redundancy Paragraph (d) of proposed § 1926.965
underground electrical installations. As would require attendants for manholes.
presented by these two existing noted in § 1926.965(a), the requirements
requirements. During the time work is being
proposed in this section are in addition
Paragraph (d)(2) of proposed performed in a manhole that contains
to requirements contained elsewhere in
§ 1926.964 relates to operations that energized electric equipment, an
the standard (and elsewhere in Part
involve lifting and positioning tower 1926) because § 1926.965 only contains employee would be required to be
sections. This provision requires tag considerations unique to underground available in the immediate vicinity (but
lines or other similar devices to be used facilities. For example, proposed not normally in the manhole) to render
to control tower sections being § 1926.953, relating to enclosed spaces, emergency assistance. However, the
positioned, unless the employer can also applies to underground operations attendant would be allowed to enter the
demonstrate that the use of such devices involving entry into an enclosed space. manhole, for brief periods, to provide
would create a greater hazard. The use Proposed § 1926.965 has been taken other than emergency assistance to
of tag lines protects employees from from § 1910.269(t). Existing Subpart V those inside.
being struck by tower sections that are contains requirements for work on The provisions in paragraph (d) are
in motion. This provision, which has underground lines in § 1926.956. being proposed so that emergency
been taken from § 1910.269(q)(4)(ii), is Differences between the existing rules assistance can be provided to employees
the same as § 1926.955(b)(4)(ii) and and the proposed rules are explained in
(b)(6)(ii). The proposal eliminates the working in manholes, where the
the following summary and explanation employees work unobserved and where
of proposed § 1926.965. undetected injury could occur. Taken
60 Two of the requirements in the existing
Paragraph (b) of proposed § 1926.965
paragraphs are covered in other places. Under the from § 1910.269(t)(3) and from existing
would require the use of ladders or
last sentence of existing § 1926.955(b)(1), ladders § 1926.956(b)(1), these proposed
must be used to provide access for pad- or pile-type other climbing devices for entrance into
requirements are intended to protect
footing excavations more than 4 feet deep. This and exit from manholes and subsurface
hazard is already addressed in § 1926.1051(a), employees within the manhole without
vaults that are more than 1.22 meters (4
which requires a stairway or a ladder to be provided exposing the attendants outside to a risk
for access to breaks in elevation of more than 48 cm, feet) deep. Because employees can
of injury greater than that faced by those
unless a ramp, runway, sloped embankment, or
personnel hoist is available. Existing 61 Emergency restoration work is considered to be inside.
§ 1926.955(b)(3)(iii) addresses the stability of that work needed to restore an electric power Because the hazards addressed by
equipment used near excavations. Proposed transmission or distribution installation to an
§ 1926.959(b) and (c) cover hazards associated with operating condition to the extent necessary to
paragraph (t)(3) are primarily related to
instability of mechanical equipment. safeguard the general public. electric shock, allowing the attendant to

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enter the manhole briefly 62 has no similar work. As noted earlier, the requirements to all underground
significant effect on the safety of the purpose of requiring an attendant under installations.
employee he or she is protecting. In case proposed § 1926.965(d) is to provide If any energized cables are to be
of electric shock, the attendant would assistance in case an electric shock moved during underground operations,
still be able to provide assistance. The occurs. When an employee is paragraph (g) of proposed § 1926.965
proposed rule would require the performing the types of work listed in would require them to be inspected for
attendant to be trained in first aid and this provision, there is very little chance possible defects that could lead to a
in CPR to ensure that emergency that he or she would suffer an electric fault. (If a defect is found, paragraph (h)
treatment will be available if needed. shock. Thus, the Agency believes it is would apply.) These provisions protect
If other hazards are believed to safe for an employee to perform duties employees against possibly defective
endanger the employee in the manhole, such as housekeeping and inspection cables, which could fault upon being
paragraph (h) of proposed § 1926.953 without the presence of an attendant. moved, leading to serious injury. This
would also apply.63 This provision Under paragraph (d)(4) of proposed paragraph in the proposal, which has
would require attendants for work in an § 1926.965, reliable communications been taken from § 1910.269(t)(6), has no
enclosed space (for example, a manhole) would be required to be maintained counterpart in existing Subpart V.
if a hazard exists because of traffic among all employees involved in the Since defective energized cables may
patterns in the area of the opening to the job, including any attendants, the fail with an enormous release of energy,
enclosed space. Thus, an attendant employees in the manhole, and precautions must be taken to minimize
would be required when traffic patterns employees in separate manholes the possibility of such an occurrence
in the area around the manhole opening working on the same job. This while an employee is working in a
endanger an entrant exiting the requirement, which has been taken from manhole. Therefore, paragraph (h) of
manhole. In such situations, the § 1910.269(t)(3)(iv), has no counterpart proposed § 1926.965 would, in general,
employee on the surface would be in § 1926.956(b)(1). prohibit employees from working in a
exposed to the same hazards against manhole which contains an energized
To install cables into the underground
which he or she is trying to protect the cable with a defect that could lead to a
ducts, or conduits, that will contain
original entrant if the attendant were to fault. The proposal lists typical
them, employees use a series of short
enter the manhole or vault. Therefore, abnormalities that could expose
jointed rods or a long flexible rod
the proposal would not permit employees to injury as: oil or compound
inserted into the ducts. The insertion of
attendants required under § 1926.953(h) leaking from a cable or joint (splice), a
these rods into the ducts is known as
to enter the manhole. To clarify the broken cable sheath or joint sleeve, hot
‘‘rodding.’’ The rods are used to thread
application of the two different localized surface temperatures on a
the cable-pulling rope through the cable or joint, or a joint that is swollen
attendant requirements, a note has been conduit. After the rods have been beyond normal tolerances. Examples of
included following § 1926.965(d)(2). withdrawn and the cable-pulling ropes abnormalities are listed in a note
The note indicates that if an attendant have been inserted, the cables can then following § 1926.965(h). The note states
is also required under § 1926.953(h), be pulled through by mechanical means. that the listed conditions are presumed
one person may serve to satisfy both Paragraph (e) of proposed § 1926.965 to lead to or be an indication of a
requirements, but is not permitted to would require duct rods to be inserted possible impending fault. An employer
enter the manhole. in the direction presenting the least could demonstrate that any one of these
OSHA has included a second note hazard to employees. To make sure that conditions, in a particular case, is not
following § 1926.965(d)(2). This note a rod does not contact live parts at the indicative of an impending fault, in
serves as a reminder that § 1926.960(b) far end of the duct line being rodded, which case proposed § 1926.965(h)
would prohibit unqualified employees which would be in a different manhole would not require protective measures
from working in areas containing or vault, the proposal would also to be taken. This provision, which has
unguarded, uninsulated energized lines require an employee to be stationed at been taken from § 1910.269(t)(7), has no
or parts of equipment operating at 50 the remote end of the rodding operation counterpart in existing Subpart V.
volts or more. to ensure that the required minimum In the § 1910.269 rulemaking, OSHA
Paragraph (d)(3) of proposed approach distances are maintained. This concluded that employees may work in
§ 1926.965 would permit an employee provision, which has been taken from a manhole that contains an energized
working alone to enter a manhole or § 1910.269(t)(4), has no counterpart in cable with abnormalities only when
vault for the purpose of inspection, existing Subpart V. service load conditions and feasible
housekeeping, taking readings, or To prevent accidents resulting from alternatives prevent deenergizing the
working on the wrong cable, one that cable and only when the employees are
62 The attendant would be permitted to remain
may be energized, proposed protected from a failure (January 31,
within the manhole only for the short period of
time necessary to assist the employee inside the § 1926.965(f) would require the 1994, 59 FR 4416).
manhole with a task that one employee cannot identification of the proper cable when Under some service load conditions,
perform alone. For example, if a second employee multiple cables are present in a work it may not be feasible for the electric
is needed to help lift a piece of equipment into area. The identification must be made utility to deenergize the cable with the
place, the attendant could enter only for the amount
of time that is needed to accomplish this task. by electrical means (for example, a defect at the same time that another line
However, if significant portions of the job require meter), unless the proper cable is is deenergized for maintenance work. In
the assistance of a second worker in the manhole, obvious because of appearance, such cases, paragraph (h)(1) of proposed
the attendant would not be permitted to remain in location, or other means of readily § 1926.965 would allow the defective
the manhole for the length of time that would be
necessary, and a third employee would be required. identifying the proper cable. This cable or splice to remain energized as
63 Additionally, as noted in the discussion of proposed paragraph, which has been long as the employees in the manhole
proposed § 1926.953, earlier in this preamble, the taken from § 1910.269(t)(5), is similar to are protected against the possible effects
entry would have to be conducted in accordance existing § 1926.956(c)(4), (c)(5), and of a failure by shields or other devices
with § 1910.146, the generic permit-required
confined spaces standard, if proposed §§ 1926.953
(c)(6); however, existing § 1926.956(c)(4) capable of containing the adverse effects
and 1926.965 would not adequately protect the and (c)(5) apply only to excavations. of a failure. For example, a ballistic
entrants. The proposal would apply the blanket wrapped around a defective

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splice can protect against injury from elsewhere in the standard, the protection equivalent to the protection that
the effects of a fault in the splice. The provisions of this paragraph are would be provide by access and working
energy that could be released in case of intended to supplement (rather than space meeting ANSI C2–2002.
a fault is known, and the energy modify) the more general requirements This language accomplishes three
absorbing capability of a shield or other contained in other portions of Subpart goals. First, it explains that an
device can be obtained from the V, such as § 1926.960 on working on or installation need not be in conformance
manufacturer or can be calculated. As near live parts. with ANSI C2–2002 in order to be
long as the energy absorbing capability Proposed § 1926.966(b) would require considered as complying with proposed
of the shield or other device exceeds the enough space to be provided around § 1926.966(b). Second, it informs
available fault energy, employees will electric equipment to allow ready and employers whose installations do not
be protected. The proposal would safe access to and operation and conform to the latest ANSI standard of
require employees to be protected, maintenance of the equipment. This how they can demonstrate compliance
regardless of the type of device used and rule would prevent employees from with the OSHA standard. Third, it
of how it is applied. Additionally, the contacting exposed live parts as a result ensures that, however old an
proposal would permit this option to be of insufficient maneuvering room. A installation is, it provides sufficient
used only ‘‘when service load note has been included to recognize, as space to enable employees to work
conditions and a lack of feasible constituting compliance, the provisions within the space without significant risk
alternatives require that the cable of ANSI C2–2002 for the design of of injury.
remain energized.’’ Employers are workspace for electric equipment. This Proposed § 1926.966(c) would require
required to use alternatives, such as the provision, which has been taken from draw-out-type circuit breakers to be
use of shunts or other means of § 1910.269(u)(1), has no counterpart in inserted and removed while the breaker
supplying areas with power, whenever existing Subpart V. is in the open position. (A draw-out-
feasible before allowing access. OSHA realizes that older installations
Paragraph (h)(2) addresses work that type circuit breaker is one in which the
may not meet the dimensions set forth removable portion may be withdrawn
could itself cause a fault in a cable, such in the latest version of the national
as removing asbestos covering on a from the stationary portion without the
consensus standard. The Agency necessity of unbolting connections or
cable or using a power tool to break believes that the language of proposed
concrete encasing a cable. This type of mounting supports.) Additionally, if the
§ 1926.966(b) is sufficiently design of the control devices permits,
work can damage the cable and create performance oriented that older
an internal fault. The energy released by the control circuit for the circuit breaker
installations built to specifications in would have to be rendered inoperative.
the fault could injure not only the the standards that were in effect at the
employee performing the work but any (Some circuit breaker and control device
time they were constructed would meet designs do not incorporate a feature
other employees nearby. Paragraph the requirement for sufficient workspace
(h)(2) would require the same protective allowing the control circuit for the
provided that the installation and work breaker to be rendered inoperative.)
measures in those situations as practices used enable employees to
paragraph (h)(1), that is, deenergizing These provisions are intended to
perform work safely within the space prevent arcing which could injure
the cable or, under certain conditions, and to maintain the minimum approach
using shields or other protective devices employees. This proposed paragraph,
distances specified in proposed which has been taken from
capable of containing the effects of the § 1926.960(c)(1). In fact, the note for this
fault. § 1910.269(u)(2), has no counterpart in
provision states that the NESC existing Subpart V.
Paragraph (i) of proposed § 1926.965
specifications are guidelines. The ANSI Because voltages can be impressed or
would require metallic sheath
continuity to be maintained while work standard is specifically not being induced on large metal objects near
is performed on underground cables. incorporated by reference here. substation equipment, proposed
Bonding across an opening in a cable’s However, OSHA has included the § 1926.966(d) would require conductive
sheath protects employees against shock following language in the note to fences around substations to be
from a difference in potential between proposed § 1926.966(b): grounded. Continuity across openings is
the two sides of the opening. As an Note to paragraph (b) of this section: also required in order to eliminate
alternative to bonding, the cable sheath Guidelines for the dimensions of access and voltage differences between adjacent
could be treated as energized. (The workspace about electric equipment in parts of the fence.
voltage to which the sheath is to be substations are contained in American This provision has been taken from
considered energized is equal to the National Standard National Electrical Safety § 1910.269(u)(3). Existing
maximum voltage that could be seen Code, ANSI C2–2002. Installations meeting § 1926.957(g)(1) requires ‘‘[a]dequate
the ANSI provisions comply with paragraph interconnection with ground’’ to be
across the sheath under fault (b) of this section. An installation that does
conditions.) This requirement, which maintained between temporary and
not conform to this ANSI standard will,
has been taken from § 1910.269(t)(8), is nonetheless, be considered as complying permanent fences. Existing Subpart V
essentially identical to existing with paragraph (b) of this section if the does not require permanent substation
§ 1926.956(c)(7), except that the employer can demonstrate that the fences to be grounded. However, OSHA
proposal would allow the cable sheath installation provides ready and safe access believes that grounding metal fences,
to be treated as energized in lieu of based on the following evidence: whether they are temporary or
bonding. This is consistent with other (1) That the installation conforms to the permanent, is essential to the safety of
parts of the proposal, such as proposed edition of ANSI C2 that was in effect at the employees working near the fences.
time the installation was made, Proposed § 1926.966(e) addresses the
§ 1926.960(j), which recognize treating (2) That the configuration of the
objects as energized as an alternative to guarding of rooms containing electric
installation enables employees to maintain
grounding. the minimum approach distances required by
supply equipment. This paragraph has
§ 1926.960(c)(1) of this Part while they been taken from § 1910.269(u)(4). The
Section 1926.966, Substations only provisions in existing Subpart V
working on exposed, energized parts, and
Proposed § 1926.966 addresses work (3) That the precautions taken when work addressing guarding of live parts in
performed in substations. As is the case is performed on the installation provide substations are contained in

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§ 1926.957(c) and (g). These two Unqualified persons are also prohibited meeting ANSI C2–2002 are considered
provisions require barricades or barriers from areas containing live parts to meet paragraph (f)(1), which is based
to be installed (paragraph (c)) and for operating at more than 600 volts, unless on Section 124A.1 of that standard.
temporary fences to be installed if the live parts are completely enclosed in OSHA will consider installations that
sections of permanent fencing are metal enclosures or are installed at an do not meet ANSI C2–2002 as meeting
removed (paragraph (g)). Existing elevation of at least 8 feet, 6 inches. The proposed paragraph (f)(1) provided the
§ 1926.957(g)(2) also requires gates to metal enclosures must be grounded, and employer can demonstrate that the
unattended substations to be locked. the minimum height increases with installation provides sufficient
The existing requirements only increasing voltage. clearance based on the following
address temporary guarding measures. OSHA is proposing to adopt evidence:
Permanent guarding of live parts, which requirements here that follow the (1) That the installation meets the
is generally more substantial than the Subpart K approach. Proposed requirements of the edition of ANSI C2
tape and cone barricades permitted § 1926.966(e) sets forth criteria for that was in effect at the time the
under the existing rule, is never access by unqualified persons to spaces installation was made,
mentioned in existing § 1926.957. containing electric supply lines or (2) That each employee is isolated
OSHA’s proposed revision of the equipment. Paragraph (e)(1) divides from live parts at the point of closest
substation rules addresses guarding of areas containing electric supply approach, and
live parts in substations in a more equipment into three categories as (3) That the precautions taken protect
comprehensive manner and should follows: employees to the same degree as the
provide better protection for employees. (1) Areas where exposed live parts clearances specified in ANSI C2–2002.
OSHA believes that it is important to operating at 50 to 150 volts to ground This approach would afford
prohibit unqualified persons from areas are located within 2.4 meters (8 feet) of employers flexibility in complying with
containing energized electric supply the ground or other working surface, the standard and would afford
equipment regardless of the work they (2) Areas where live parts operating at employees protection from injury due to
would be performing. Employees between 150 and 601 volts and located sparkover from live circuit parts.
working in these areas must be trained within 2.4 meters (8 feet) of the ground Proposed § 1926.966(f)(2) would
in the hazards involved and in the or other working surface are guarded require the guarding of live parts within
appropriate work practices, as would be only by location, as permitted under a compartment to be maintained during
required by proposed § 1926.950(b)(2). paragraph (f)(1), and operation and maintenance functions.
Otherwise, they would not be able to (3) Areas where live parts operating at This guarding is intended to prevent
distinguish hazardous circuit parts from more than 600 volts are located, unless: accidental contact with energized parts
non-hazardous equipment and would (a) The live parts are enclosed within and to prevent objects from being
not be familiar with the appropriate grounded, metal-enclosed equipment dropped on energized parts. However,
work practices, regardless of the jobs whose only openings are designed so since access must be gained to energized
they are performing. There have been that foreign objects inserted in these equipment by qualified employees, an
accidents that involve contact of openings will be deflected from exception to this proposed requirement
unqualified persons with energized energized parts, or allows the removal of guards for fuse
parts in such areas. (b) The live parts are installed at a replacement and other necessary access
Subpart V is intended to apply to height above ground and any other by qualified persons. In such cases,
electrical installations for which OSHA working surface that provides protection proposed paragraph (f)(3) would protect
has few design requirements. The at least equivalent to an 2.4-meter (8- other employees working nearby by
Subpart K electrical installation foot) height at 50 volts. requiring the installation of protective
standards typically do not apply to Proposed § 1926.966(e)(2) through barriers around the work area.
electric power transmission and (e)(5) propose requirements that would So that employees can receive
distribution installations, and such apply to these areas. The areas would pertinent information on conditions that
installations may pose hazards in have to be so enclosed as to minimize affect safety at the substation, paragraph
addition to those of exposed live parts. the possibility that unqualified persons (g)(1) would require employees who do
For example, equipment enclosures may will enter; warning signs would have to not regularly work at the station to
be ungrounded. If the requirements of be displayed; and entrances not under report their presence to the employee in
Subpart K are not being met, then it is the observation of an attendant would charge. Typical conditions affecting
important to prevent unqualified have to be kept locked. Additionally, safety in substations include the
persons from gaining access to areas unqualified persons would not be location of energized equipment in the
containing electric power transmission permitted to enter these areas while the area and the limits of any deenergized
and distribution equipment. electric supply lines or equipment are work area. Proposed paragraph (g)(2)
If, on the other hand, the installation energized. would require this specific information
conforms to Subpart K, at least with Proposed § 1926.966(f) also addresses to be communicated to employees
respect to the guarding of live parts and guarding of live parts. This paragraph, during the job briefing required by
to the grounding of enclosures for these which has been taken from proposed § 1926.952. These two
parts, unqualified employees may safely § 1910.269(u)(5), has no counterpart in requirements have been taken from
access substation areas. In Subpart K, existing Subpart V. § 1910.269(u)(6).
suitable protection is provided by Proposed § 1926.966(f)(1) would Existing § 1926.957(a)(1) requires
§§ 1926.403(j)(2), 1926.403(i)(2), and require live parts operating at more than authorization to be obtained from the
1926.404(f)(7) for employees working in 150 volts to be guarded (by physical person in charge of the substation before
substations. These provisions prohibit guards or by location) or insulated. This work is performed. The proposal would
unqualified persons from accessing provision protects qualified employees not require authorization. OSHA does
areas containing exposed live parts from accidentally contacting energized not believe that such a requirement is
operating at 50 volts through 600 volts parts. Guidance for clearance distances necessary. As noted, proposed
and located less than 8 feet above the appropriate for guarding by location can § 1926.966(g)(1) would require
floor or other working surface. be found in ANSI C2. Installations employees who do not regularly work in

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the substation to report their presence to For work on individual capacitors in installations in proposed § 1926.965, as
the employee in charge. The main a series-parallel capacitor bank, each appropriate. These provisions, which
purpose of this rule is for the flow of unit must be short-circuited between its have been taken from § 1910.269(w)(3),
important safety-related information terminals and the capacitor tank or rack, have no counterpart in existing Subpart
from the employee in charge to and the rack must be grounded; V.
employees about to work in the otherwise, individual capacitors could Frequently, electric power
substation. As long as this information retain a charge. These considerations are transmission and distribution
is imparted to the employees performing proposed in paragraph (a)(2). Lastly, employees must work at night or in
the work and as long as the paragraph (a)(3) also requires lines to enclosed places, such as manholes, that
requirements proposed in the revision which capacitors are connected to be are not illuminated by the sun. Since
of Subpart V are followed, the work can short-circuited before the lines can be inadvertent contact with live parts can
be performed safely. The Agency does considered deenergized. be fatal, good lighting is important to
not believe that the requirement that the A note referring to the requirements the safety of these workers. Therefore,
work be authorized is necessary for for deenergizing electric transmission proposed § 1926.967(d) would require
employee safety; however, OSHA and distribution lines and equipment sufficient illumination to be provided so
requests comments on whether or not (proposed § 1926.961) and for grounding that work can be performed safely. This
the lack of authorization to perform (proposed § 1926.962) has been provision, which has been taken from
work can lead to accidents. included following § 1926.967(a) to alert § 1910.269(w)(4), is comparable to
Existing § 1926.957(a)(2) is essentially readers to the appropriate requirements existing § 1926.950(f). The existing
identical to proposed § 1926.966(g)(2), for deenergizing and grounding. requirement, however, applies only at
except that the existing rule, in Although the magnetic flux density in night. OSHA believes that it is
paragraph (a)(2)(ii), also requires the the core of a current transformer is important for employees to have
determination of what protective usually very low, resulting in a low sufficient lighting to perform the work
secondary voltage, it will rise to safely no matter what the time of day is.
equipment and precautions are
saturation if the secondary circuit is The note following proposed
necessary. Since the job briefing is
opened while the transformer primary is § 1926.967(d) refers to § 1926.56 for
already required to cover these areas
energized. If this occurs, the magnetic specific levels of illumination that are
under proposed § 1926.952(b), existing
flux will induce a voltage in the required under various conditions.
§ 1926.957(a)(2)(ii), which applies only
secondary winding high enough to be To protect employees working in
to work in energized substations, would
hazardous to the insulation in the areas that expose them to the hazards of
no longer be necessary.
secondary circuit and to personnel. drowning, proposed § 1926.967(e)
Section 1926.967, Special Conditions Because of this hazard to workers, would require the provision and use of
proposed § 1926.967(b) would prohibit personal flotation devices. Additionally,
Proposed § 1926.967 proposes
the opening of the secondary circuit of to ensure that these devices would
requirements for special conditions that
a current transformer while the primary provide the necessary protection upon
are encountered during electric power is energized. If the primary cannot be demand, they would have to be
transmission and distribution work. deenergized for work to be performed approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, be
Since capacitors store electric charge on the secondary, then the secondary maintained in safe condition, and be
and can release electrical energy even circuit would have to be bridged so that inspected frequently enough to ensure
when disconnected from their sources an open-circuit condition does not that they do not have defects or other
of supply, some precautions may be result. This provision, which has been conditions that would render them
necessary—in addition to those taken from § 1910.269(w)(2), has no unsuitable for use. Lastly, employees
proposed in § 1926.961 (deenergizing counterpart in existing Subpart V. would not be permitted to cross streams
lines and equipment) and § 1926.962 In a series streetlighting circuit, the unless a safe means of passage is
(grounding)—when work is performed lamps are connected in series, and the provided. This provision, which has
on capacitors or on lines that are same current flows in each lamp. This been taken from § 1910.269(w)(5),
connected to capacitors. Proposed current is supplied by a constant- would replace existing § 1926.950(g).
§ 1926.967(a), which has been taken current transformer, which provides a The existing rule simply references
from § 1910.269(w)(1), contains constant current at a variable voltage other construction standards on body
precautions which will enable this from a source of constant voltage and belts, safety straps, and lanyards, on
equipment to be considered as variable current. Like the current safety nets, and on protection for
deenergized. This proposed paragraph transformer, the constant current source working near water, namely
has no counterpart in existing Subpart attempts to supply current even when §§ 1926.104, 1926.105, and 1926.106.
V. the secondary circuit is open. The OSHA is proposing language identical
Under proposed § 1926.967(a)(1), resultant open-circuit voltage can be to that contained in § 1910.269 for
capacitors on which work is to be very high and hazardous to employees. consistency with that standard, which
performed would have to be For this reason, § 1926.967(c)(2) the Agency believes affords better
disconnected from their sources of proposes a requirement, similar to that protection for electric power
supply and, after a 5-minute wait, short- in proposed paragraph (b), that either transmission and distribution
circuited. This not only removes the the streetlighting transformer be employees. However, comments are
sources of electric current but relieves deenergized or the circuit be bridged to invited on whether or not existing
the capacitors of their charge as well. It avoid an open-circuit condition. In § 1926.950(g) would better protect
should be noted that ANSI/IEEE addition, proposed § 1926.967(c)(1) employees.
Standard No. 18–2002 requires all would require streetlighting circuits Proposed § 1926.967(f) references
capacitors to have an internal resistor with an open circuit voltage of more Subpart P of Part 1926 for requirements
across its terminals to reduce the voltage than 600 volts to be worked in on excavations. This provision is
to 50 volts or less within 5 minutes after accordance with the requirements on equivalent to existing § 1926.956(c)(2),
the capacitor is disconnected from an overhead lines in proposed § 1926.964 which references §§ 1926.651 and
energized source. or on underground electrical 1926.652 of that subpart. The proposed

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rule clearly indicates that all of the reference § 1926.54 in paragraph (i) of than that set forth in the guide. These
requirements of Subpart P apply. proposed § 1926.967. This proposed measures may be of an administrative
Employees working in areas with paragraph, which has been taken from nature (such as limitations on the
pedestrian or vehicular traffic are § 1910.269(w)(8), has no counterpart in duration of exposure) or of an
exposed to additional hazards compared existing Subpart V. engineering nature (such as a design of
to employees working on an employer’s To ensure that hydraulic equipment the system that limits the emitted
premises, where public access is retains its insulating value, paragraph (j) radiation to that permitted by the guide)
restricted. One serious additional of proposed § 1926.967 would require or may involve the use of personal
hazard faced by workers exposed to the the hydraulic fluid used in insulated protective equipment. This proposed
public is that of being struck by a sections of such equipment to be of the provision would not require employers
vehicle (or even by a person). To protect insulating type. Paragraph (d)(1) of to follow the hierarchy of controls
employees against being injured as a § 1926.302 requires hydraulic fluid used normally required for the protection of
result of traffic mishaps, proposed in hydraulic powered tools to be fire- employees from occupational hazards.
§ 1926.967(g) would require the resistant. Because available insulating Employees exposed to radiation levels
placement of warning signs or flags or fluids are not fire-resistant, proposed beyond that permitted by the radiation
other warning devices to channel § 1926.967(j) would exempt insulating protection guide are typically
approaching traffic away from the work hydraulic fluid from § 1926.302(d)(1). performing maintenance tasks. OSHA
area if the conditions in the area pose Proposed § 1926.967(j) is essentially typically permits the use of personal
a hazard to employees. If warning signs identical to existing § 1926.950(i). protective equipment in these
are not sufficient protection or if Proposed § 1926.967(k) addresses situations. No employees are exposed to
employees are working in an area in communication facilities associated these levels on a routine basis. The
which there are excavations, barricades with electric power transmission and Agency requests comments on whether
must be erected. Additionally, warning distribution systems. Typical the proposal adequately protects
lights are required for night work. This communications installations include employees and whether the standard
proposed paragraph also references those for microwave signaling and should require employers to follow the
§ 1926.200(g)(2), which covers traffic power line carriers. This proposed hierarchy of controls.
control devices. This provision in paragraph, which has been taken from Power line carrier systems use the
OSHA’s construction standards § 1910.269(s), has no counterpart in power line itself to carry signals
incorporates Part VI of the Manual of existing Subpart V. between equipment at different points
Uniform Traffic Control Devices, 1988 Microwave signaling systems are on the line. Because of this, the proposal
Edition, Revision 3, September 3, 1993, addressed by paragraph (k)(1) of would require, in § 1926.967(k)(2), that
FHWA–SA–94–027, or Part VI of the proposed § 1926.967. To protect work associated with power line carrier
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control employees’ eyes from being injured by installations be performed according to
Devices, Millennium Edition, December microwave radiation, paragraph (k)(1)(i) the requirements for work on energized
2000, Federal Highway Administration, would require employers to ensure that lines.
by reference. Proposed § 1926.967, employees do not look into an open
which has been taken from waveguide or antenna that is connected Section 1926.968, Definitions
§ 1910.269(w)(6), has no counterpart in to an energized source of microwave Proposed § 1926.968 contains
existing Subpart V. radiation. definitions of terms used in the
Proposed § 1926.967(h) addresses the Existing § 1910.97, which covers non- standard. Since these definitions have
hazards of voltage backfeed due to ionizing radiation, prescribes a warning been taken, in large part, from
sources of cogeneration or due to the sign with a special symbol indicating consensus standards and existing OSHA
configuration of the circuit involved. non-ionizing radiation hazards. rules and since the definitions included
Under conditions of voltage backfeed, Paragraph (k)(1)(ii) of proposed are generally self-explanatory, OSHA
the lines upon which work is to be § 1926.967 would require areas that expects these terms to be well
performed remain energized after the contain radiation in excess of the understood, and no explanation is given
main source of power has been
radiation protection guide set forth in here, except for the definition of the
disconnected. According to this
§ 1910.97 to be posted with the warning term ‘‘qualified employee.’’ For other
proposed provision, the lines would
sign. Also, the proposal would require terms whose meaning may not be
have to be worked as energized, under
the lower half of that sign to be labeled readily apparent, the Agency has
proposed § 1926.960, or could be
as follows: provided an explanation in the
worked as deenergized, following
proposed §§ 1926.961 and 1926.962. Radiation in this area may exceed hazard discussion of the provision in which the
The referenced requirements contain the limitations and special precautions are term first appears. (For example, the
appropriate controls and work practices required. Obtain specific instruction before explanation of the definitions of ‘‘host
to be taken in case of voltage backfeed. entering. employer’’ is given in the discussion of
This proposed paragraph, which has The sign is intended to warn proposed § 1926.950(c)(1), earlier in this
been taken from § 1910.269(w)(7), has employees about the hazards present in section of the preamble.)
no counterpart in existing Subpart V. the area and to inform them that special The definition of ‘‘qualified
Sometimes, electric power instructions are necessary to enter the employee’’ is based on the definition of
transmission and distribution work area. that term as set forth in § 1910.269(x).
involves the use of lasers. Appropriate In § 1910.97, the radiation protection This definition reads as follows:
requirements for the installation, guide is advisory only. Paragraph One knowledgeable in the construction
operation, and adjustment of lasers are (k)(1)(iii) of proposed § 1926.967 would and operation of the electric power
contained in existing § 1926.54 of the make the guide mandatory for electric generation, transmission, and distribution
construction standards. Rather than power transmission and distribution equipment involved, along with the
develop different requirements for work by requiring the employer to associated hazards.
electric power transmission and institute measures that prevent any OSHA does not intend to require
distribution work, OSHA has decided to employee’s exposure from being greater employees to be knowledgeable in all

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aspects of electric power generation, requests information on whether equipment nearly always exposes
transmission, and distribution Appendix B requires additional employees to the same hazards as the
equipment in order to be considered as changes, beyond what the Agency is maintenance of electric power lines and
‘‘qualified.’’ OSHA believes that the proposing, to make it consistent with equipment. Power line workers use the
proposed definition will convey the current technology. (See the summary same protective equipment and safety
Agency’s true intent. It should be noted and explanation of proposed techniques in both types of work.
that the proposal uses the term § 1926.960(c)(1).) OSHA intends to During the course of a workday, these
‘‘qualified employee’’ to refer only to revise the explanatory material in employees can perform both types of
employees who have the training to Appendix B similarly when the Agency work.
work on energized electric power issues the final rule.
transmission and distribution Appendix C provides information For example, a power line crew could
installations. Paragraph (b)(2) of relating to the protection of employees be assigned to replace two transformers
proposed § 1926.950 sets out the from hazardous step and touch that have failed. In one case, the
training an employee would have to potentials as addressed in transformer is replaced with an
have to be considered a qualified § 1926.959(d)(3)(iii)(D), equivalent one; in the other case, it is
employee. A note to this effect has been § 1926.963(d)(3)(ii), and replaced with a transformer with a
included following the definition of this § 1926.964(b)(2). different kilovolt-ampere rating. When
term. Appendix D contains information on the employees perform the first job, they
Appendices. OSHA is including seven the inspection and testing of wood poles are performing maintenance work
appendices to proposed Subpart V. addressed in § 1926.964(a)(2). covered by Part 1910. However, the
Appendix A refers to Appendix A to Appendix E contains references to second job is considered to be
§ 1910.269, which contains flow charts additional sources of information that construction and is covered by Part
may be used to supplement the 1926. The employees would almost
depicting the interface between
requirements of proposed Subpart V. certainly use identical work practices
§ 1910.269 and the following standards:
The national consensus standards and protective equipment for both jobs.
§ 1910.146, Permit-required confined
referenced in this appendix contain
spaces; § 1910.147, The control of Because of this, OSHA believes that it
detailed specifications to which
hazardous energy (lockout/tagout); and is important to have the same
employers may refer in complying with
Part 1910, Subpart S, Electrical. While requirements apply regardless of the
the more performance-oriented
these general industry standards are not type of work being performed. If the
requirements of OSHA’s proposed rule.
applicable to construction work, corresponding Part 1910 and Part 1926
Except as specifically noted in Subpart
employers will still need this standards are the same, employers can
V, however, compliance with the
information when the construction work national consensus standards would not adopt one set of work rules covering all
performed under Subpart V interfaces be a substitute for compliance with the types of work. Employers and
with general industry work. Thus, provisions of the OSHA standard. employees would not be faced with
Appendix A will assist employers in Appendix F provides guidance on the having to decide whether a particular
determining which of these standards selection of protective clothing for job was construction or maintenance—
applies in different situations. employees exposed to electric arcs as a factor that in virtually every instance
Appendix B provides information addressed in proposed § 1926.960(g). has no bearing on the safety of
relating to the determination of Appendix G contains guidelines for
appropriate minimum approach employees.
the inspection of work positioning
distances as proposed by equipment to assist employers in Therefore, in this rulemaking, OSHA
§ 1926.950(c)(1) and § 1926.964(c). This complying with proposed is proposing revisions to §§ 1910.137
appendix is based on Appendix B to § 1926.954(b)(3)(i). and 1910.269 so that the construction
§ 1910.269, with revisions necessary to and maintenance standards will be the
reflect the changes to the minimum C. Part 1910 Revisions same.64 The following distribution table
approach distances proposed for The construction of electric power presents the major revisions and
§ 1910.269 and Subpart V. OSHA transmission and distribution lines and OSHA’s rationale for proposing them.

Proposed part 1910 revision Proposed part 1926 revision Rationale and comments

§ 1910.137(A)(1)(ii), (b)(2)(vii), and § 1926.97(a)(1)(ii), (c)(2)(vii), and Section 1910.137 would be revised to include Class 00 rubber insu-
Tables I–2, I–3, I–4, and I–5. Tables E–1, E–2, E–3, and E–4. lating gloves.
The note following The note following The note would be revised to include the latest ASTM standards.
§ 1910.137(a)(3)(ii)(B). § 1926.97(a)(3)(ii)(B). References to ASTM definition and to an ASTM guide for visual in-
spection of rubber insulating equipment have been included to pro-
vide additional useful information for complying with the OSHA
A new note following The note following A reference to an ASTM guide for visual inspection of rubber insu-
§ 1910.137(b)(2)(ii). § 1926.97(b)(2)(ii). lating equipment has been included to provide additional useful in-
formation for complying with the OSHA standard.

64 Subpart V does not contain requirements for

electric power generation installations or for line-

clearance tree-trimming work. See the summary and
explanation of proposed § 1926.950(a)(3), earlier in
this preamble.

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Proposed part 1910 revision Proposed part 1926 revision Rationale and comments

§ 1910.137(b)(2)(vii)(B) and (C) ...... § 1926.97(c)(2)(vii)(B) and (C) ....... Existing § 1910.137(b)(2)(vii)(B) would be split into two separate CFR
§ 1901.137(c) [New] ........................ § 1926.97(b) ................................... A new paragraph would be added to cover electrical protective equip-
ment that is not made of rubber. See the summary and explanation
of proposed § 1926.97(b).
§ 1910.269(a)(2)(i) ........................... § 1926.950(b)(1) ............................ Existing § 1910.269(a)(2)(i) would be split into three separate CFR
units. The last of those units, paragraph (a)(2)(i)(c), would intro-
duce a new requirement that the degree of training be determined
by the risk to the employee. See the discussion of proposed
§ 1926.950(b)(1)(iii).
§ 1910.269(a)(2)(ii)(E) [New] ........... § 1926.950(b)(2)(v) ........................ A new paragraph would be added to require qualified employees to
be trained to recognize and to control or avoid electrical hazards.
See the discussion of proposed § 1926.950(b)(2)(v).
§ 1910.269(a)(2)(vii) ........................ § 1926.950(b)(7) ............................ The existing requirement for employers to certify that employees
have been trained would be replaced with a requirement for em-
ployers to determine that employees have demonstrated pro-
ficiency in the work practices involved. In addition, a new note
would be added to clarify how training received in a previous job
would satisfy the training requirements. See the discussion of pro-
posed § 1926.950(b)(7).
§ 1910.269(a)(4) [New] .................... § 1926.950(c) ................................. A new paragraph would be added to require host and contract em-
ployers to share information on safety-related matters. See the dis-
cussion of proposed § 1926.950(c).
§ 1910.269(c) ................................... § 1926.952 ..................................... The existing provision would be reorganized and renumbered. A new
requirement would be added to ensure that employers provide the
employee in charge with sufficient information to be able to com-
plete the job safely. See the discussion of proposed § 1926.952.
The note following § 1910.269(e)(6) None .............................................. This note would be removed. It currently references § 1910.146 for
the definition of ‘‘entry.’’ OSHA is proposing to add a definition of
this term to § 1910.269, so this note would be unnecessary.
§ 1910.269(e)(8) .............................. § 1926.952(h) ................................. OSHA is proposing to remove the requirement to provide an attend-
ant if there is reason to believe a hazard exists in the enclosed
space. Paragraph (e)(1) of § 1910.269 requires the entry to con-
form to § 1910.146 if there are hazards for which the requirements
of § 1910.269(e) and (t) do not provide adequate protection. Thus,
if an employer has reason to believe that a hazard exists despite
the precautions taken under § 1910.269(e) and (t), then § 1910.146
applies, and an attendant would be required by that standard.
§ 1910.269(e)(8) .............................. § 1926.953(i) .................................. The existing requirement would be revised to clarify that the test in-
strument must have an accuracy of ±10 percent.
§ 1910.269(e)(12) ............................ § 1926.953(m) ................................ The existing requirement would be revised to require the employer to
be able to demonstrate that ventilation was maintained long
enough to ensure that a safe atmosphere exists before employees
enter an enclosed space.
§ 1910.269(g)(2) .............................. § 1926.954(b) ................................. The existing requirements would be revised to maintain consistency
with the construction provisions. See the discussion of proposed
§ 1926.954(b).
§ 1910.269(l)(2)(i) ............................ § 1926.960(c)(1)(i) ......................... The existing requirement would be clarified to indicate that an ener-
gized part must be under the full control of the employee for rubber
insulating gloves or rubber insulating gloves and sleeves to be con-
sidered as sufficient insulation from that part. See the discussion of
proposed § 1926.960(c)(1).
§ 1910.269(l)(3) and (4) .................. § 1926.960(c)(2) and (d) ................ OSHA is proposing to revise the existing requirements to ensure that
employees use electrical protective equipment whenever they can
reach within the minimum approach distance of an energized part.
See the discussion of § 1926.960(c)(2) and (d).
§ 1910.269(l)(6) [Revised] and (12) § 1926.960(f) and (g) ..................... OSHA is proposing to revise the existing requirements on clothing in
[New]. § 1910.269(l)(6)(ii) and (iii) to require employees to be protected
from electric arcs. See the discussion of proposed § 1926.960(g).
Table R–6 ........................................ Table V–2 ...................................... The existing table would be revised so that it contains the same min-
imum approach distances as ANSI C2 (on which it is based). See
the discussion of proposed § 1926.960(c)(1).
§ 1910.269(m)(3)(viii) ...................... § 1926.961(c)(3)(ii) ......................... The existing provision would be revised to require independent crews
to coordinate energizing and deenergizing lines and equipment if
no system operator is in charge. The new provision would prevent
one crew from energizing a line or equipment that another crew
was working on.
§ 1910.269(n)(4) .............................. § 1926.962(d) ................................. The existing requirement would be revised to allow smaller protective
grounds under certain conditions. See the discussion of proposed
§ 1926.962(d).

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Proposed part 1910 revision Proposed part 1926 revision Rationale and comments

§ 1910.269(n)(6) and (n)(7) ............. § 1926.962(f) .................................. The existing requirement would be revised to allow insulating equip-
ment other than a live-line tool to place grounds on or remove
them from circuits of 600 volts or less under certain conditions.
See the discussion of § 1926.962(f).
§ 1910.269(p)(4)(i) ........................... § 1926.959(d)(1) ............................ OSHA is proposing to clarify the existing provision to indicate that, if
an insulated aerial lift comes closer to an energized part than the
minimum approach distance, the aerial lift must maintain the min-
imum approach distance from objects at a different potential. See
the discussion of § 1926.959(d)(1).
§ 1910.269(t)(3), (7), and (8) ........... § 1926.965(d), (h), and (i) .............. OSHA is proposing to apply these requirements to vaults as well as
manholes. Additionally, OSHA is proposing to add a requirement to
address work that could cause a cable to fail. See the discussion
of proposed § 1926.965(d), (h), and (i).
The notes following The notes following and The references in these notes to ANSI C2–1987 would be updated to
§ 1910.269(u)(1), (u)(5)(i), (v)(3), § 1926.966(b) (f)(1). ANSI C2–2002.
and (v)(5).
§ 1910.269(x) ................................... § 1926.968 ..................................... OSHA is proposing to add definitions of ‘‘contract employer,’’ ‘‘host
employer,’’ and ‘‘entry.’’ See the discussion of proposed
§§ 1926.950(c) and 1926.953.
Appendix F to § 1910.269 [New] ..... Appendix F to Subpart V ............... OSHA is proposing to add a new appendix containing information on
protecting employees from electric arcs.
Appendix G to § 1910.269 [New] .... Appendix G to Subpart V .............. OSHA is proposing to add a new appendix containing guidelines for
the inspection of work positioning equipment.

There are some differences in when construction work is performed entries, as that general industry
language between proposed Subpart V instead of general industry standards standard does not apply to construction
and existing § 1910.269. Some of these when maintenance work is performed. work. OSHA intends to retain such
differences are because § 1910.269 For example, proposed § 1926.969(a)(1) differences in the final rule.
applies to electric power generation contains exemptions from
On the other hand, OSHA has
installations and related work practices §§ 1926.550(a)(15) and 1926.600(a)(6) 65
identified several nonsubstantive
but Subpart V does not. For example, for the operation of mechanical
equipment by qualified employees near differences between the existing
existing § 1910.269(b)(1)(ii) addresses
CPR training requirements for fixed overhead power lines. Existing language in §§ 1910.137 and 1910.269
work locations ‘‘such as generating § 1910.269 contains no similar and the language proposed in § 1926.97
stations.’’ The corresponding requirement because the corresponding and Subpart V. Table IV–8 identifies
construction provision in proposed general industry provision, these differences. The Agency intends to
§ 1926.951(b)(1)(ii) contains the exact § 1910.333(c)(3), does not apply to carry those changes into final
same requirement, but lists qualified employees performing work §§ 1910.137 and 1910.269. OSHA
‘‘substations’’ as examples of fixed work covered by § 1910.269. In a similar invites comments and questions on any
locations. OSHA intends to retain such fashion, proposed § 1926.953(a) does differences between the proposed
differences in the final rule. not contain § 1910.269(e)’s exemption standards and existing §§ 1910.137 and
Other differences result from the from paragraphs (d) through (k) of 1910.269 and on how the respective
application of construction standards § 1910.146 dealing with permit-space final rules should be made consistent.
Section 1926.97 provisions with nonsubstantive changes in language Correspondong provisions in existing § 1910.137

1926.97(c)(2)(xii), Note.
1910.137(b)(2)(xii), Note.

Subpart V Provisions with Nonsubstantive Changes in Language Corresponding provisions in Existing § 1910.269

1926.950(a)(2) .......................................................................................... 1910.269(a)(1)(iii).

1926.950(b)(2), introductory text .............................................................. 1910.269(a)(2)(ii), introductory text.
1926.950(b)(2), Note ................................................................................ 1910.269(a)(2)(ii), Note.
1926.950(b)(4)(i) ....................................................................................... 1910.269(a)(2)(iv)(A).
1926.955(b)(4) .......................................................................................... 1910.269(h)(2)(iii).
1926.956(d)(3) .......................................................................................... 1910.269(i)(4)(ii).
1926.957(a) .............................................................................................. 1910.269(j)(1).
1926.961(c)(9)(i) ....................................................................................... 1910.269(m)(3)(x)(A).
1926.961(c)(10) ........................................................................................ 1910.269(m)(3)(xi).
1926.962(b), introductory text .................................................................. 1910.269(n)(2), introductory text.
1926.966(e)(1)(iii), introductory text. ........................................................ 1910.269(u)(4)(i)(C), introductory text.
1926.968, definition of ‘‘designated employee’’. ...................................... 1910.269(x), definition of ‘‘designated employee’’.

65 These provisions generally require that a 3.05-

between mechanical equipment and overhead
power lines.
meter (10-foot) minimum clearance be provided

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Section 1926.97 provisions with nonsubstantive changes in language Correspondong provisions in existing § 1910.137

1926.968, Note to the definition of 1910.269(x), Note to the definition of ‘‘guarded’’.

(1) This table does not list provisions in which the only change was to break up paragraphs with multiple requirements into separately num-
bered paragraphs. See, for example, proposed § 1926.960(b)(1)(i), (b)(1)(ii), and (b)(2), which were taken from the introductory text to existing
§ 1910.269(1)(1).
(2) This table also does not list provisions in which the only change was a conversion to international standard (SI) units. See, for example,
proposed § 1926.966 (e)(1)(iii)(B), which was taken from existing § 1910.269(u)(4)(i)(C)(2).

OSHA expects that final Subpart V considered in adopting the final § 1926.951(b)(1).) Although OSHA has
will differ from proposed Subpart V construction standards and vice versa. not proposed to revise the
because of changes adopted based on In particular, the Agency has requested corresponding general industry
the rulemaking record. When the final comments on several issues in the provision, existing § 1910.269(b)(1), the
rule is published, the Agency intends to proposed revision of Subpart V and in Agency intends to revise that general
make corresponding changes to proposed new § 1926.97. Some of these industry provision if the rulemaking
§ 1910.269 to keep the two rules the issues are directed towards record supports a requirement for AEDs.
same, except to the extent that requirements in those construction Therefore, OSHA encourages all
substantial differences between standard that are taken from general rulemaking participants to respond to
construction work and general industry industry provisions that OSHA is not these issues regardless of whether the
work warrant different standards. proposing to revise. For example, earlier
participants are covered by the
Similarly, the Agency intends to adopt in this section of the preamble, the
construction standards. Table IV–9 is a
changes to § 1910.137 so that it is the Agency requests comments on whether
same as § 1926.97. Therefore, OSHA is AEDs should be required as part of the cross-reference table to help interested
seeking comment on entire §§ 1910.137 medical and first aid requirements in parties to find the section in Subpart V
and 1910.269. Comments received on proposed § 1926.951. (See the summary that corresponds to a particular
the general industry standards will be and explanation of proposed paragraph in § 1910.269.


Paragraph Corresponding section in subpart V Topic
in § 1910.269

(a) ..................................................................................... § 1926.950 ....................................................................... General, scope, and train-

(b) ..................................................................................... § 1926.951 ....................................................................... Medical services and first
(c) ..................................................................................... § 1926.952 ....................................................................... Job briefing.
(e) ..................................................................................... § 1926.953 ....................................................................... Enclosed spaces.
(f) ...................................................................................... § 1926.967(f) .................................................................... Excavations.
(g) ..................................................................................... § 1926.954 ....................................................................... Personal protective equip-
(h) ..................................................................................... § 1926.955 ....................................................................... Ladders and platforms.
(i) ...................................................................................... § 1926.956 ....................................................................... Hand and portable power
(j) ...................................................................................... § 1926.957 ....................................................................... Live-line tools.
(k) ..................................................................................... § 1926.958 ....................................................................... Materials handling and stor-
(l) ...................................................................................... § 1926.960 ....................................................................... Working on or near ex-
posed energized parts.
(m) .................................................................................... § 1926.961 ....................................................................... Deenergizing lines and
equipment for employee
(n) ..................................................................................... § 1926.962 ....................................................................... Grounding for the protec-
tion of employees.
(o) ..................................................................................... § 1926.963 ....................................................................... Testing and test facilities.
(p) ..................................................................................... § 1926.959 ....................................................................... Mechanical equipment.
(q) ..................................................................................... § 1926.964 ....................................................................... Overhead lines.
(s) ..................................................................................... § 1926.967(k) ................................................................... Communication facilities.
(t) ...................................................................................... § 1926.965 ....................................................................... Underground electrical in-
(u) ..................................................................................... § 1926.966 ....................................................................... Substations.
(w) ..................................................................................... § 1926.967 ....................................................................... Special conditions.
(x) ..................................................................................... § 1926.968 ....................................................................... Definitions.
Note: Paragraphs (d), (r), and (v) have no counterparts in Subpart V.

Foot protection for electrical hazards. § 1910.136(a). Existing § 1910.136(a) (a) General requirements. The
OSHA is also proposing to revise reads as follows: employer shall ensure that each affected

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employee uses protective footwear personal protective equipment. V. Preliminary Regulatory Impact
when working in areas where there is a Paragraph (f) of § 1910.132 addresses Analysis and Initial Regulatory
danger of foot injuries due to falling or training in the use of personal protective Flexibility Analysis
rolling objects, or objects piercing the equipment. As noted in § 1910.132(g), A. Executive Summary
sole, and where such employee’s feet paragraphs (d) and (f) of existing
are exposed to electrical hazards. § 1910.132 do not apply to electrical Introduction
The Agency is concerned that this protective equipment covered by OSHA is required by the OSH Act to
language is being interpreted to § 1910.137. While training is covered in ensure and demonstrate that standards
recognize the use of electrical hazard other electrical standards (for example, promulgated under the Act are
footwear as a primary form of electrical
in § 1910.268, telecommunications, in technologically and economically
protection. Electrical hazard footwear is
§ 1910.269, electric power generation, feasible. Executive Order 12866, the
constructed to provide insulation of the
transmission, and distribution, and in Regulatory Flexibility Act, and the
wearer’s feet from ground. This can
§ 1910.332, training in electrical safety- Unfunded Mandates Reform Act also
provide a small degree of protection
related work practices), many of the require OSHA to estimate the costs,
from electric shock for the wearer. This
hazard assessment requirements in assess the benefits, and analyze the
protection is limited to voltages of 600
§ 1910.132(d) are not addressed in any impacts of the rules that the Agency
volts or less under dry conditions and
other OSHA electrical standard. OSHA promulgates.
is intended to be a secondary form of
requests comments on whether Accordingly, OSHA has prepared this
electrical insulation.66 Conductive
electrical protective equipment should Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis
footwear, which is not electrical hazard
be added to the scope of § 1910.132(d) (PRIA) for OSHA’s proposal to update
footwear, is designed to prevent static
its standards addressing electric power
electricity buildup. This is one method or § 1910.132(f) or both.
generation, transmission, and
of protecting against static electrical
D. Effective Date distribution work, and the use of
discharges that can damage equipment
electrical protective equipment. For
or, in hazardous locations, could When a final rule is promulgated, purposes of this analysis, the terms
possibly lead to fires or explosions. OSHA typically provides a delay in ‘‘proposal’’ and ‘‘proposed standard’’
Interpreting existing § 1910.136(a) so effective date to allow employers to include all elements of this proposed
as to recognize electrical hazard become familiar with the rule and to rulemaking, including proposed
footwear as a primary form of electrical
come into compliance. Some of the changes to 29 CFR 1910.269, proposed
protection could expose employees to
provisions in the proposal would changes to 29 CFR 1926, proposed
electric shock hazards if they believe
require some employers to purchase changes involving electrical protective
that the real primary form of electrical
new equipment. For example, the equipment requirements, and other
protection (for example, rubber
requirements proposed in associated revisions and additions. The
insulating gloves or blankets) is no
§§ 1910.269(l)(11) and 1926.960(g) consolidated set of proposed actions
longer necessary. This is true for several
would require some employers to was analyzed in its entirety; only those
reasons. First, electrical hazard footwear
purchase flame-resistant clothing. parts that were identified as involving
only insulates an employee’s feet from
OSHA requests comments generally on nonnegligible costs are explicitly
ground. The employee can still be
what an appropriate delay in effective reflected in the analysis of compliance
grounded through other parts of his or
date should be and specifically on how costs and impacts.
her body. Second, the insulation
long employers will need to make In some past notices of proposed
provided by electrical hazard footwear
purchases necessary for compliance rulemakings, OSHA has included only
is good only under dry conditions. This
an Executive Summary of the PRIA in
footwear provides little if any protection with the proposed rule.
the preamble to the proposal. For this
once it becomes wet or damp. Lastly, Some of the proposed provisions rulemaking, OSHA is including the
the voltage rating on electrical hazard would require employers to replace entire PRIA in this Federal Register
footwear is only 600 volts. existing noncomplying equipment with
OSHA believes that, because of these notice for the convenience of the public.
equipment that meets the proposal. For
limitations, electrical hazard footwear Need for Regulation
example, proposed § 1926.954(b)(2)(xi)
should not be addressed by § 1910.136,
would require snaphooks used with Employees in work environments
which is designed to provide protection
work positioning equipment to be of the addressed by the proposed standards are
to employees’ feet. The Agency also
locking type. Some employers may still exposed to a variety of significant
believes that the need for conductive
use nonlocking snaphooks with work hazards that can and do cause serious
footwear, whether or not it provides
positioning equipment. OSHA requests injury and death. The risks to
protection for the foot, is adequately
information on the extent to which employees are excessively large due to
addressed by the general requirement in
nonlocking snaphooks are used. The the existence of market failures, and
§ 1910.132(a) to provide personal
Agency also requests information on the existing and alternative methods of
protection equipment. Therefore, OSHA
useful life of such equipment and on alleviating these negative consequences
is proposing to delete language relating
have been shown to be insufficient.
to electrical hazards from § 1910.136(a). whether OSHA should allow sufficient
Paragraph (d) of § 1910.132 addresses After carefully weighing the various
time for noncomplying equipment to be
hazard assessment and selection of potential advantages and disadvantages
replaced as it wears out. Such a delay
of using a regulatory approach to
would minimize the costs incurred by improve upon the current situation,
66 Primary insulation normally insulates an
employers but would expose employees OSHA preliminarily concludes that in
employee directly from an energized part. Rubber
insulating gloves and rubber insulating blankets are to hazards for a longer period. this case the proposed mandatory
examples of primary electrical protection. standards represent the best choice for
Secondary insulation normally insulates an
employee’s feet from a grounded surface. Electrical
reducing the risks to employees. In
hazard footwear and rubber insulating matting are addition, rulemaking is necessary in this
examples of secondary electrical protection. case in order to replace older existing

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standards with updated, clear, and proposed rulemaking, are expected to prevented fatality, results in an
consistent safety standards. result in an increased degree of safety estimated monetized benefit of about
for the affected employees. These $135 million annually.
Affected Establishments
changes are expected to reduce the The net monetized benefits of the
The proposal affects establishments in numbers of accidents, fatalities, and proposed standard are estimated to be
a variety of different industries injuries associated with the relevant about $101.1 million annually ($135
involving electric power generation, tasks, as well as reducing the severity of million in benefits and $33.9 million in
transmission, and distribution. The certain injuries, such as burns or costs). Note that these net benefits
proposed standards primarily affect injuries that could be sustained as a exclude any unquantified benefits
firms that construct, operate, maintain, result of an arrested fall, that may still associated with revising the standards to
or repair electric power generation, occur while performing some of the provide updated, clear, and consistent
transmission, or distribution systems. affected procedures. regulatory requirements to the public.
These firms include electric utilities as An estimated 74 fatalities and 444
well as contractors who are hired by injuries occur annually among Additional benefits associated with
utilities and who are primarily employees involved in electric power this rulemaking involve providing
classified in the construction industry. generation, transmission, and updated, clear, and consistent safety
In addition, potentially affected firms distribution work addressed by the standards regarding electric power
are found in a variety of manufacturing provisions of this rulemaking. Based on generation, transmission, and
and other industries which own or a review and analysis of the incident distribution work to the relevant
operate their own electric power reports associated with the reported employers, employees, and interested
generation, transmission, or distribution injuries and fatalities, full compliance members of the public. OSHA believes
systems as a secondary part of their with the proposed standards would that the updated standards enhance
business operations. The proposal also prevent 79.0 percent of the relevant worker safety and are easier to
potentially affects establishments injuries and fatalities, compared with understand and to apply. They will
performing line-clearance tree-trimming 52.9 percent prevented with full benefit employers and employees by
operations. compliance with the existing standards. facilitating compliance while improving
Thus, the increase in safety that would safety. The benefits associated with
Benefits, Net Benefits, and Cost be provided by the proposed standards providing updated, clear, and consistent
Effectiveness is represented by the prevention of an safety standards have not been
The proposed revisions to the OSHA additional 19 fatalities and 116 injuries monetized or quantified.
standards addressing electric power annually. Applying an average monetary Table V–1 summarizes the costs,
generation, transmission, and value of $50,000 per prevented injury, benefits, net benefits, and cost
distribution work, as comprised by the and a value of $6.8 million per effectiveness of the proposed standard.


Annualized Costs:
Determination of Appropriate Protective Clothing ................................................................................................... $11.0 million.
Provision of Appropriate Protective Clothing .......................................................................................................... $8.4 million.
Host/Contractor Communications ............................................................................................................................ $7.8 million.
Expanded Job Briefings .......................................................................................................................................... $5.1 million.
Additional Training ................................................................................................................................................... $1.2 million.
Other Costs ............................................................................................................................................................. $0.4 million.
Total Annual Costs ........................................................................................................................................... $33.9 million.
Annual Benefits:
Number of Injuries Prevented ................................................................................................................................. 116.
Number of Fatalities Prevented ............................................................................................................................... 19.
Monetized Benefits (Assuming $50,000 per Injury and $6.8 million per Fatality Prevented) ................................ 135 million.
OSHA standards that are updated and consistent ................................................................................................. Unquantified.
Total Annual Benefits ....................................................................................................................................... 116 injuries and 19 fatali-
ties prevented.

Net Benefits (Benefits Minus Costs): compliance with the new requirements event that employees may be exposed to
$101 million annually. imposed by the rulemaking; nor do they an electric arc.
include costs associated with achieving Other provisions of the proposed
Cost Effectiveness
full compliance with existing applicable standards involving compliance costs
Compliance with the proposed requirements. The total annualized cost include requirements for more
standards would result in the of compliance with the proposed protective clothing ($8.4 million),
prevention of 1 fatality and 6 injuries rulemaking is estimated to be about requirements for various
per $1.8 million in costs, or, $33.9 million. communications between host
alternatively, $4.00 of benefits per dollar employers and contractors ($7.8
of cost. The largest component of the million), expanded requirements for
compliance costs, at $11.0 million conducting job briefings ($5.1 million),
Compliance Costs annually, is comprised of the costs and revised training requirements ($1.2
The estimated costs of compliance for necessary to comply with the million).
this rulemaking represent the additional requirement for the employer to make a
costs necessary for employers to achieve determination regarding the type and Economic Impacts
full compliance. They do not include extent of flame-resistant apparel To assess the nature and magnitude of
costs associated with current necessary to protect employees in the the economic impacts associated with

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules 34895

compliance with the proposed of the impact of the proposed rule on standards for the construction of electric
rulemaking, OSHA developed small entities; (2) a description of the power transmission and distribution
quantitative estimates of the potential reasons why action by the agency is systems are over 30 years old and
economic impact of the requirements on being considered; (3) a succinct inconsistent with the more recently
entities in each of the affected industry statement of the objectives of, and legal promulgated OSHA standards
sectors. The estimated costs of basis for, the proposed rule; (4) a addressing repair and maintenance
compliance were compared with description of and, where feasible, an work.
industry revenues and profits to provide estimate of the number of small entities OSHA has different standards
an assessment of potential economic to which the proposed rule will apply; covering construction work on electric
impacts. (5) a description of the projected power transmission and distribution
The costs of compliance with the reporting, recordkeeping and other systems and general industry work on
proposed rulemaking are not large in compliance requirements of the the same systems. In most instances, the
relation to the corresponding annual proposed rule; (6) an identification, to work practices used by employees to
financial flows associated with the the extent practicable, of all relevant perform construction or general
regulated activities. The estimated costs Federal rules which may duplicate, industry work on these systems are the
of compliance represent about 0.01 overlap or conflict with the proposed same. The application of OSHA’s
percent of revenues and 0.14 percent of rule; and (7) a description and construction or general industry
profits on average across all entities; discussion of any significant standards to a particular job depends
compliance costs do not represent more alternatives to the proposed rule which upon whether the employer is altering
than 0.24 percent of revenues or more accomplish the stated objectives of the system (construction work) or
than 4.03 percent of profits in any applicable statutes and which minimize maintaining the system (general
affected industry. any significant economic impact of the industry work). For example, employers
The economic impact of the proposed proposed rule on small entities. changing a cutout (disconnect switch)
rulemaking is most likely to consist of OSHA has analyzed the potential on a transmission and distribution
a small increase in prices for electricity, impact of the proposed rule on small system would be performing
of about 0.01 percent on average. It is entities. As a result of this analysis, construction work if they were
unlikely that a price increase on the OSHA preliminarily concludes that the upgrading the cutout, but general
magnitude of 0.01 percent will compliance costs are equivalent to over industry work if they were simply
significantly alter the services 5 percent of profits for some groups of replacing the cutout with the same
demanded by the public or any other affected small entities (as identified model.
affected customers or intermediaries. If later in this analysis). Therefore, OSHA Since the work practices used by the
the compliance costs of the proposed has prepared an Initial Regulatory employees would most likely be
rulemaking can be substantially Flexibility Analysis in conjunction with identical, the applicable OSHA
recouped with such a minimal increase this rulemaking to describe the potential standards should be identical. OSHA’s
in prices, there may be little effect on effects on small entities and to enable existing requirements are not, however.
profits. the Agency and the public to fully Conceivably, for work involving two or
In general, for most establishments, it consider alternatives to the proposal. more cutouts, different and conflicting
would be very unlikely that none of the OSHA standards might apply. The
B. Need for Rule
compliance costs could be passed along inconsistencies between the two
in the form of increased prices. In the Employees performing work involving
standards create difficulties for
event that unusual circumstances may electric power generation, transmission,
employers attempting to develop
inhibit even a price increase of 0.01 and distribution are exposed to a variety
appropriate work practices for their
percent to be realized, profits in any of of significant hazards, such as fall,
employees. For this reason, employers
the affected industries would be electric shock, and burn hazards, that
and employees have told OSHA that it
reduced by a maximum of about 4 can and do cause serious injury and
should make the two standards
percent. death. As detailed below, OSHA
identical. This proposal does so.
OSHA concludes that compliance estimates that, on average, 444 serious
OSHA has preliminarily determined
with the requirements of the proposed injuries and 74 fatalities occur annually
that the proposal is needed to reduce
rulemaking is economically feasible in among these workers.
Although some of these incidents may the number of fatalities and injuries
every affected industry sector. occurring among workers involved in
In addition, based on an analysis of have been prevented with better
compliance with existing safety electric power generation, transmission,
the costs and economic impacts and distribution and to make the
associated with this rulemaking, OSHA standards, research and analyses
conducted by OSHA have found that relevant standards clear and consistent.
preliminarily concludes that the effects Before reaching this preliminary
of the proposed standards on many preventable injuries and fatalities
would continue to occur even if full conclusion, many alternatives were
international trade, employment, wages, considered, including regulatory
and economic growth for the United compliance with the existing standards
were achieved. Relative to full alternatives and alternative approaches
States would be negligible. that would not involve the
compliance with the existing standards,
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis an estimated additional 116 injuries and promulgation of revised standards.
The Regulatory Flexibility Act, as 19 fatalities would be prevented through C. Examination of Alternative
amended in 1996 by the Small Business full compliance with the proposed Approaches
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, standards.
requires the preparation of an Initial Additional benefits associated with Alternative Regulatory Approaches
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for this rulemaking involve providing To determine the appropriate
certain proposed rules promulgated by updated, clear, and consistent safety regulatory requirements to address
agencies (5 U.S.C. 601–612). Under the standards regarding electric power occupational risks for employees
provisions of the law, each such generation, transmission, and working on electric power generation,
analysis shall contain: (1) A description distribution work. The existing OSHA transmission, and distribution systems,

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OSHA considered many different factors Section 1. Statement of Regulatory a job (other things being equal), and
and potential alternatives. The Agency Philosophy and Principles. employers would have an incentive to
examined the incidence of injuries and (a) The Regulatory Philosophy. Federal make investments to reduce
fatalities and their direct and underlying Agencies should promulgate only such occupational health and safety risks to
regulations as are required by law, are the extent workers would demand
causes to ascertain where existing necessary to interpret the law, or made
standards needed to be strengthened. compensation for being exposed to such
necessary by compelling public need, such as
These standards were reviewed, current material failures of private markets to protect risks. In other words, because employers
practices in the industry were assessed, or improve the health and safety of the would have to pay their workers a
information and comments from experts public, the environment, or the well-being of premium to induce them to work in a
were collected, and the available data the American people. In deciding whether risky environment, employers would be
and how to regulate, agencies should assess willing to pay to make that environment
and research were scrutinized. all costs and benefits of available regulatory less risky by introducing technologies
OSHA faces several constraints in alternatives, including the alternative of not and practices that lower risks to
determining which regulatory regulating.
requirements should apply. As required The discussion below considers In addition, a perfectly competitive
under Section 3(8) of the OSH Act, the several nonregulatory alternatives to market will theoretically lead to the
requirements of an OSHA standard must OSHA’s proposed rulemaking: Private efficient allocation of resources only if
be ‘‘reasonably necessary or appropriate market incentives, information all of the costs and benefits (pecuniary
to provide safe or healthful employment dissemination programs, tort liability and nonpecuniary) associated with the
and places of employment.’’ Also, as options, and workers’ compensation behavior of market participants and
required under Section 6(b)(8) of the programs. with market transactions are fully borne
OSH Act, the requirements of an OSHA Private Market Incentives. Economic by those directly involved. In economic
standard may only differ substantially theory suggests that the need for terms, this implies that there will not be
government regulations would be any negative externalities associated
from existing national consensus
greatly reduced if private markets with economic activities.
standards to the extent that the OSHA
worked efficiently and effectively to If all of the costs associated with
standard will better effectuate the provide health and safety protections for
purposes of the OSH Act than the occupational safety and health risks
employees. At issue is whether the would in fact be internalized, then
corresponding national consensus private market will be able to produce
standards. OSHA standards must also be market decisions about occupational
a level of safety and health for
technologically and economically safety and health conditions made by
employees that will be equal to or
feasible, as noted earlier, and be cost- employers and workers would be based
greater than that potentially afforded by
effective. on a consideration of the full social
the proposed OSHA standards. In
costs of their economic actions.
A full discussion of the basis for the particular, OSHA examined whether the
However, if some of the effects of these
particular regulatory requirements level of risk of experiencing an injury
actions are externalized (that is, some
chosen is provided in Section IV, caused by workplace hazards that
costs are not borne by employers and
Summary and Explanation of Proposed would be provided by an unregulated
employees but by other parties who are
Rule, earlier in this preamble. The market would be at least as protective of
employee safety as the proposed electric external to the transaction), then those
regulatory alternatives considered by costs will not be adequately
OSHA are discussed in the Initial power rulemaking.
Theoretically, unregulated markets incorporated into the decisions of
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis later in managers and workers. The resultant
are capable of achieving an efficient
this section of the preamble. market allocation of resources can then
allocation of resources if certain
Alternative Nonregulatory Approaches assumptions are satisfied. Necessary be expected to be less efficient.
assumptions include elements such as Costs and other impacts that are
Introduction. The stated purpose of perfect and free information, perfect and imposed on society and are not borne
the OSH Act is to ‘‘assure so far as costless mobility of labor and other directly by the economic participants
possible every working man and woman factors of production, and an absence of involved in an activity or transaction are
in the Nation safe and healthful working any externalities. referred to as externalities. The
conditions and to preserve our human A major conclusion of the ‘‘perfect existence of such externalities is one
resources.’’ This congressional mandate competition model’’ of economic theory reason why an unregulated private
provides the basis for OSHA’s proposed is that, in the presence of full market often fails to produce an efficient
rulemaking on electric power information about market choices and allocation of resources. The presence of
generation, transmission, and outcomes and with complete mobility of these externalities also implies that
distribution, which is designed to the factors of production, the private economic efficiency can potentially be
mitigate the occupational hazards market would produce an efficient improved with regulatory interventions.
associated with work on electric power allocation of resources. In a theoretically perfect market
systems. In the presence of perfect and without externalities, firms would
complete information regarding decide how much to spend on reducing
Before issuing a standard, OSHA must occupational risks, labor markets would safety and health risks based on the full
assess whether there are other, reflect the presence of different degrees costs associated with the presence of
nonregulatory approaches available that of risk across different industries, firms, such risks. The costs include pain and
may provide an equal or higher level of and occupations. In such a market, wage suffering, impacts on the quality of the
benefits. Executive Order 12866 directs premiums would be paid to compensate lives of families, and effects on society
regulatory agencies to assess whether an workers engaged in hazardous as a whole. Workers would decide
unregulated private market can achieve occupations for the added risk they whether they were willing to work in a
the same level of social benefits as that confront on the job. particular job based on the relative
expected to result from Federal In this theoretical framework, wages riskiness of the job and the extent to
regulation: would vary directly with the riskiness of which they believe the wages offered to

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them provide adequate compensation and magnitude of occupational risk and seniority rights, and the risk of
for these risks. factors. Many workers are not likely to prolonged periods of unemployment.
Research conducted by OSHA and be fully aware of the extent and nature Often, differences in occupational risk
information from several other sources of occupational risks associated with between two firms must be very marked
show that many firms have responded various different jobs and different before a worker will change jobs on that
to the risks posed to workers by electric employers at different points in time. basis. Therefore, wage rates determined
power systems. Employers have Even if workers have adequate by a market in which the protection of
increasingly recognized the costs information regarding the risks of occupational safety and health is
associated with these risks and have occupational injuries, they may be unregulated are unlikely to fully
implemented measures to reduce the unable to adequately incorporate this compensate workers for occupational
occupational risks faced by their information into their decisions about health and safety risks, including those
employees. choosing a job or staying on the job. related to the risks of concern here.
In fact, many risk control programs Other factors and circumstances may Information Dissemination Programs.
already implemented by employers go affect employment choices, and OSHA and other organizations currently
beyond the provisions required by the decisions cannot be changed easily. produce and disseminate a considerable
existing OSHA standards or by the There are also significant costs amount of information regarding the
proposed OSHA standards. The fact that associated with job searches and risks associated with work involving
employers are implementing these changing jobs. electric power generation, transmission,
programs demonstrates that economic Assessing occupational risks for the and distribution and the methods that
incentives do exist at least to some purpose of determining the acceptability can be used to reduce these risks. The
degree to motivate employers in the of wages offered is made even more dissemination of such information
direction of reducing the risks difficult when differences in risk would continue in conjunction with the
associated with occupational exposures between two firms are significant but promulgation of the proposed standards;
to the hazards of electric power work. cannot be readily observed or predicted alternatively, in lieu of issuing
However, OSHA notes that many over the pertinent time periods. If mandatory standards, OSHA could rely
other employers continue to fall short of differences in occupational risk between on current or expanded information
their obligations to provide even various establishments are not fully dissemination programs to generate the
minimum safety protections for their incorporated into the employment incentives necessary to produce further
employees. Such circumstances persist decisions of workers, the wage reductions in injuries and fatalities.
despite ongoing attempts by OSHA and premiums paid for risky jobs will not Better informed workers can more
other groups to provide information and accurately reflect the relative accurately assess the occupational risks
assistance to employers to increase occupational risks associated with associated with different jobs, thereby
awareness and reduce the risks involved specific jobs in different firms. Thus, facilitating those market interactions
with work involving electric power firms will have little incentive to that result in wage premiums for
systems. individually reduce risk beyond levels relatively risky occupations.
The benefits section of this present in other firms. There are several reasons, however,
preliminary analysis shows that In addition, many employers may why reliance on information
preventable injuries and fatalities simply be unaware of the direct and dissemination programs will not yield
continue to occur every year. The indirect costs associated with the level of social benefits achievable
evidence indicates that market forces occupational risks. Some employers through compliance with the proposed
cannot alone curb occupational risks may regard these costs as beyond their electric power rules. First, there are no
adequately. control or as part of general overhead reliable incentives or mechanisms that
Among employees engaged in work costs. Employers may also not be fully would ensure that appropriate and
involving electric power generation, aware of the availability of cost-effective sufficiently detailed information could
transmission, and distribution systems, ways of ameliorating or eliminating be produced, or that such information
there does not appear to be any risk these risks and reducing the would actually be distributed among
premium reflected in wage rates that corresponding costs. and relied upon by workers.
would differentiate between employers A significant problem that prevents Furthermore, hazards associated with
based on the extent of risks faced by risk premiums in an unregulated market work on electric power systems are
employees. In fact, as presented in from achieving the theoretical results highly specific to individual tasks and
Section IV, Summary and Explanation that may potentially reduce work environments. The development
of Proposed Rule, earlier in this occupational risks involves of accurate knowledge about these
preamble, there is some evidence that in imperfections in the operation of labor occupational risks would require each
these industries, wages for workers in markets. Changing jobs can be costly, employer to make available specific
similar jobs performing similar types of and in some circumstances the costs information about the risks present in
work are negatively correlated with the may preclude a decision to change jobs his or her projects expected to be
degree of risk involved: Employees of solely on the basis of the occupational undertaken in the future. The lack of
utilities tend to earn more than their health risks involved. Factors that may adequate incentives or mechanisms and
counterparts working for contractors, make job changes particularly costly the potentially large costs associated
and yet the fatality and injury rate is include nontransferability of with the collection and reporting of the
higher among employees of the occupational skills or seniority within a necessary information makes effective
contractors. company, the difficulty of acquiring information dissemination difficult to
There are a variety of reasons why sufficient human capital to seek implement in practice.
workers may not be paid the risk alternative employment opportunities, In addition, even if workers are better
premiums that would theoretically be the costs and uncertainty associated informed about workplace risks and
necessary to ensure that markets with relocating to take advantage of hazards, other factors, such as barriers
provide efficient levels of expenditures better employment opportunities, the to labor mobility, that contribute to
on safety and health. Workers have existence of institutional factors such as market failure would still remain.
imperfect knowledge about the nature the nontransferability of pension plans Finally, as argued above, workers may

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not be able to evaluate information system could thus shift the liability for that more of the costs of occupational
about long-term risks accurately when the direct costs of occupational injury injuries and illnesses are incorporated
making employment decisions. Better from the worker to the employer, at least into decisions of employers even if
information, therefore, will not ensure under certain specific circumstances. employees do not have full information
that the market will produce wage risk With limited exceptions, however, the regarding their risks or are unable to
premiums in a manner that is consistent tort system has not been a viable receive full wage compensation for such
with an efficient allocation of resources. alternative to regulation in dealings risks. Originally designed to force more
Currently, in addition to the between employees and employers, for of the social costs of occupational
applicable OSHA standards, there are a number of reasons. All States have injuries and illnesses to be internalized,
consensus standards, voluntary legislation making workers’ the workers’ compensation program has
guidelines, and other information compensation either the exclusive or in practice fallen short of fully
sources for preventing injuries and principal legal remedy available to achieving this goal and does not fully
fatalities while working on electric employees. Generally, tort law can be compensate workers for occupationally
power generation, transmission, and applied only to third-party producers or related injuries and illnesses.
distribution systems. Although many suppliers of hazardous products or Compensation tends to be especially
employers have adopted many of the equipment, for example, asbestos inadequate in permanent disability
practices and procedures recommended products. It is often difficult, however, cases, in part because of time limits on
by these sources, many other employers to demonstrate that workplace injuries benefit entitlements and in part because
have been less successful in the have been caused by defective or of the failure of the system to adjust
widespread implementation of all of the negligently designed products or benefits for changes in a worker’s
recommendations of these voluntary equipment. expected earnings over time. Several
guidelines. The Costs of Compliance Moreover, legal proceedings generally States restrict permanent, partial, and
section of this preliminary analysis fail to fully internalize costs because of total disability benefits either by
provides further information regarding the substantial legal fees and specifying a maximum number of weeks
current compliance with specific uncertainties associated with bringing for which benefits can be paid, or by
elements in sectors covered by the court actions. In deciding whether or imposing a ceiling on dollar benefits.
proposal. not to sue, the victim must be sure that Both temporary and permanent
Thus, the experience and observations the potential award will exceed both the disability payments are commonly
regarding electric power generation, expense and hardship of bringing the limited by imposing a ceiling on the
transmission, and distribution work lawsuit. Legal expenses commonly income per week that can be paid. In
show that, while improved access to include a contingency fee for the addition, under workers’ compensation,
information about occupational risks plaintiff’s lawyer, plus court fees and no award is made for pain and suffering.
can provide for more rational decision- the costs of accumulating evidence and The extent to which income is
making in the private market, voluntary witnesses. The accused firm must also replaced by each type of indemnity
information programs will not produce pay for its defense. payment (that is, temporary or
an adequately low level of occupational In sum, the use of legal action as an permanent partial) differs. First,
risk. alternative to regulation is limited although rules vary by State, temporary
Tort Liability Options. Employees because of the expense, delays, and disability income is designed in most
currently are generally restricted from uncertainties involved, and because states to replace two-thirds of the
using tort law to force employers to pay under current State laws, workers’ worker’s before-tax income. However,
for costs and damages associated with compensation will normally be an most States place a maximum and a
fatalities and injuries that occur on the exclusive remedy that will prevent a minimum on the amount of money paid
job. Greater worker use of tort law in worker from filing a suit at all. The tort out to the worker, regardless of his or
seeking redress from injuries associated system, therefore, does not serve her actual former income.
with occupational risks involving work adequately to protect workers from The Worker Compensation Research
on electric power generation, exposure to risks in the workplace. Institute (WCRI) has studied the extent
transmission, and distribution is Workers’ Compensation Programs. to which workers’ compensation
another example of a possible The existing workers’ compensation replaces after-tax income in 19 states.
nonregulatory alternative to the programs serve to partially address the These studies show that temporary total
proposed rule. If employees were able to market failures that result in insufficient disability payments replace between 80
effectively sue their employers for reductions in occupational risks. An and 100 percent of the after-tax income
damages caused by work-related alternative to a mandatory standard of the majority of workers in all of the
hazards, and if other conditions would be a continued reliance on these States examined [5].67 From 3 to 44
regarding the cost and availability of and other existing programs (including percent of workers receive less than 80
information, knowledge and mobility of possible modifications or enhancements percent of their after-tax income, and
workers, and externalities are satisfied, to these programs) to address from 0 to 16 percent receive more than
then the need for an OSHA standard occupational risk. The workers’ 100 percent of their previous after-tax
would potentially be reduced or compensation system was implemented income (as a result of the ‘‘floor’’ on
eliminated. in part as a result of the perceived payments). In 15 of the 19 States
A tort may be described, in part, as a failure of the unregulated market to examined, more workers receive less
civil wrong (other than breach of compel employers to sufficiently reduce than 80 percent of their former after-tax
contract) for which the courts provide a occupational health and safety risks and income than receive more than 100
remedy in the form of an action for to compensate employees for bearing percent of their former income. WCRI
damages. The application of the tort those risks. The system seeks to shift does not provide estimates of the
system to occupationally related injuries some of the burden of the costs average replacement rates for all
and illnesses would mean that a worker associated with occupational injuries workers in a State. However, based on
whose disability resulted from exposure and illnesses from workers to
to a work place risk would sue the employers. By so doing, workers’ 67 References appear at the end of this section of

employer to recover damages. The tort compensation requirements can ensure the preamble.

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these data, it seems reasonable to of an incentive to reduce premiums by In summary, the workers’
assume that, on average, workers receive contesting claims than by initiating compensation system suffers from
no more than 90 percent of their after- safety and health measures. several defects that seriously reduce its
tax income while on temporary For employers who rely on workers’ effectiveness in providing incentives for
disability. compensation insurance, the payment of firms to create safe and healthful
In addition to not fully replacing after premiums represents the employer’s workplaces. First, because the
tax income, workers’ compensation major cost for the occurrence of scheduled benefits are often
payments, which are not taxable, occupational injuries and illnesses. significantly less than the actual losses
provide no replacement for tax losses to However, the mechanism for experienced by injured or ill workers
the Federal, State or local government as determining an employer’s workers’ and the social losses experienced by tax
a result of an illness. This loss is compensation premium frequently fails payers, the existence of workers’
properly considered part of the social to reflect the real costs associated with compensation programs limits an
losses associated with an illness or a particular employer’s record. As a employer’s liability to levels
injury. Typically taxes, including State result, efforts made by an employer to significantly below the actual costs of
and Federal income taxes and employee reduce the incidence of occupational the injury or illness. Second, premiums
and employer contribution to social injuries and illnesses are not necessarily for individual firms are often unrelated
security taxes will be approximately 30 reflected in reduced workers’ or only loosely related to that firm’s risk
percent of income. The taxes not paid compensation premiums. Similarly, environment. The firm, therefore, does
when an individual is unable to work firms that devote fewer resources to not receive the proper economic
thus add an additional 30 percent of promoting worker safety and health incentives and consequently fails to
worker income as losses associated with often may not incur commensurately invest sufficient resources in reducing
injuries and illnesses not covered by higher workers’ compensation costs. workplace injuries and illnesses. The
workers’ compensation. Consequently, the program does not economic costs not borne by the
In summary, workers’ compensation provide direct incentives for most employer are imposed on the employee
often covers less than 65 percent of the employers to reduce the occupational directly or on society through social
financial losses associated with the health and safety risks in their welfare programs.
costs of injuries, and does not cover any workplaces. Summary. OSHA has determined that
portion of losses due to pain and Finally, workers’ compensation is an certain workers are exposed to
suffering. Thus, even if the financial insurance mechanism through which occupational risks associated with work
costs were fully internalized by participants spread and share the risk of on electric power generation,
employers, workers’ compensation injury and illness claims, and the costs transmission, and distribution systems.
would be insufficient to assure adequate associated with occupational injuries The private market has not been
economic incentives to address work- and illnesses are often spread effective in sufficiently reducing this
related injuries and illnesses. throughout the economy through risk level of risk due to a lack of complete
For workers’ compensation to be able sharing stemming from participation in information about safety risks in
to internalize costs of work-related health insurance programs. For specific work environments, limits on
injuries and illnesses, it would be example, some direct costs may not be worker mobility, and other factors that
necessary for the costs an employer pays incurred or attributed to employers contribute to the failure of markets to
for workers’ compensation to be directly because many workers go to their provide an efficient allocation of
related to the employer’s risk of causing private physician rather than the resources. Options for improving the
work-related injuries or illnesses. company’s physician for work-related operations of markets include
Most workers’ compensation injuries and illnesses, even though there information dissemination programs,
programs nominally include the are systemic mechanisms in place to tort liability options, and workers’
employer’s injury experience as a factor ensure that work-related injuries are compensation programs. After
in determining the level of the treated through the workers’ considering each of these options,
employer’s insurance premiums. compensation system. The social OSHA has concluded that none of them
However, the majority of firms are not burden of adverse health effects is also will provide the level of benefits
rated individually for their safety and shared by taxpayer-supported programs achievable by the proposed electric
health record; that is, they are not such as welfare, social security power systems rules.
‘‘experience rated.’’ For example, small disability and death benefits, and
firms often are ineligible for experience Medicare. Employers have, therefore, D. Profile of Affected Industries
rating because of the high year-to-year less incentive to avoid such losses than The proposal affects establishments in
variance in their claim rates. Such firms they would if they were directly liable a variety of different industries
are class rated, and rate reductions are for all such claims. This transfer of risk involving electric power generation,
granted only if the experience of the is another reason why the market does transmission, and distribution. The
entire class improves. Segregation of not fully internalize the social costs of proposal primarily affects firms that
loss experience into classes is somewhat occupationally related injuries and construct, operate, maintain, or repair
arbitrary, and an individual firm may be illnesses. electric power generation, transmission,
classified with other firms that have The workers’ compensation system or distribution systems. These firms
substantially different accident rates. does provide economic incentives for include electric utilities as well as
Even when firms have an experience larger firms, especially those that self- contractors who are hired by utilities
rating, the premiums paid may not insure for workers’ compensation, and who are primarily classified in the
accurately reflect their true degree of because these firms internalize a greater construction industry. In addition,
risk. In addition, a firm’s experience portion of the true costs of the work- potentially affected firms are found in a
rating is generally based on the benefits related injuries and illnesses incurred variety of manufacturing and other
paid to ill or injured workers, not on the by their workers. Thus, larger firms can industries that own or operate their own
firm’s safety and health record or on the generally be expected to have done electric power generation, transmission,
actual risks faced by employees. Thus, more to reduce the costs associated with or distribution systems as a secondary
in some cases employers may have more occupational risks than smaller firms. part of their business operations. The

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34900 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules

proposal also potentially affects Table V–2 presents data on the 20,765 establishments and 227,683
establishments performing line- numbers of establishments and numbers employees may be affected by the
clearance tree-trimming operations. of employees for each affected industry. proposed standards.
Across all industries, an estimated
Potentially af-
Potentially af- fected full-time
Industry code Industry name fected establish- equivalent (FTE)
ments employees

NAICS 234910 ........ Water, sewer, and pipeline construction ............................................................... 847 951
NAICS 234920 ........ Power and communication transmission line construction .................................... 2829 26179
NAICS 234930 ........ Industrial nonbuilding structure construction ......................................................... 266 1391
NAICS 234990 ........ All other heavy construction .................................................................................. 656 5573
NAICS 235310 ........ Electrical contractors .............................................................................................. 1613 16342
NAICS 235910 ........ Structural steel erection contractors ...................................................................... 652 300
NAICS 235950 ........ Building equipment and other machine installation contractors ............................ 952 281
NAICS 235990 ........ All other special trade contractors ......................................................................... 2612 734
NAICS 221110 ........ Electric power generation ...................................................................................... 1745 43103
NAICS 221120 ........ Electric power transmission, control, and distribution ........................................... 6190 71441
NAICS 2211 ............ Publicly owned utilities ........................................................................................... 923 9864
Various .................... Industrial power generators ................................................................................... 933 16504
SIC 0783 ................. Ornamental shrub and tree services ..................................................................... 547 35020

Total ................. ................................................................................................................................ 20765 227683

Source: CONSAD [2], Appendix C, pages 1–2.

As shown in Table V–2, the health programs; these States are Ornamental Shrub and Tree Services
construction industries with the largest obligated, under formal agreements with industry. OSHA estimates that over 500
numbers of affected employees are OSHA, to impose OSHA-equivalent establishments and over 35,000
Power and Communication State regulatory requirements on public employees in this industry are
Transmission Line Construction and employees within their jurisdiction.) potentially affected by the provisions in
Electrical Contractors, which together The number of potentially affected the proposal involving requirements
account for over 42,000 employees of public entities and the corresponding associated with providing fall protection
the affected work force. Other number of employees are shown while working in aerial lifts.
potentially affected construction separately in Table V–2. Over 900
E. Benefits, Net Benefits, and Cost
industries include Water, Sewer, and establishments and over 9,000
Pipeline Construction, Industrial employees are part of publicly-owned Effectiveness
Nonbuilding Structure Construction, All utilities potentially affected by the The proposed revisions to the OSHA
Other Heavy Construction, Structural proposed standards. standards addressing electric power
Steel Erection Contractors, Building Table V–2 further shows the numbers generation, transmission, and
Equipment and Other Machine of potentially affected establishments distribution work are expected to result
Installation Contractors, and All Other and employees that are part of firms in in an increased degree of safety for the
Special Trade Contractors. a variety of manufacturing and other affected employees. These changes are
Table V–2 also shows that firms industries who own or operate their expected to reduce the numbers of
classified as utilities account for over own electric power generation, accidents, fatalities, and injuries
8,000 of the potentially affected transmission, or distribution systems as associated with the relevant tasks, as
establishments, and for over 120,000 of a secondary part of their business well as reducing the severity of certain
the potentially affected employees. operations. Over 900 establishments and injuries, such as burns or injuries that
Utilities include establishments 16,000 employees potentially affected could be sustained as a result of an
classified in the Electric Power by the proposed standards are arrested fall, that may still occur while
Generation industry and in the Electric accounted for by these firms. Based on performing some of the affected
Power Transmission, Control, and their primary business activity, these procedures.
Distribution industry. establishments are classified as part of To develop estimates of the potential
The U.S. Department of Commerce the following industry sectors: Oil and benefits